With the COVID-19 pandemic trudging on after more than a year, California has begun instituting vaccination sites at places such as the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Levi’s Stadium. While most teachers at Paly have been vaccinated, many students have not, despite the vaccine now being available to teens ages 16 and above.
In order to put the pandemic behind us, Paly should implement an on-campus vaccination site to accelerate the vaccination process and get us closer to herd immunity.
With the creation of vaccination sites at Paly, students would be able to get vaccinated at a much higher rate. They could get their shots before school, after school, or even at lunch as opposed to having to schedule vaccine appointments at less convenient times.
Having on-campus vaccinations is also beneficial as it can save students and parents along an inconvenient commute to vaccination sites. By having on-campus vaccination, parents won’t have to take time out of their day and drive their kids to a possibly far-away site.
In order to maximize the ease for parents, the Paly Health office should create a public Google form, where parents can simply check a box stating whether they grant permission for their child to get vaccinated. Parents can complete this form on the go, and it saves them from having to go to PAMF.org, and going through an arduous sign-in process and submit a long-form.
Having the vaccination sites on-campus would also address socio-economic issues by creating more equity. Some families may not have access to multiple cars or even one car, and as such, on-site vaccinations would allow parents to not have to worry about missing work or taking care of younger children.
Lastly and most importantly, it will help us return back to the way life was before COVID-19. The number of vaccinations in Palo Alto has been steadily increasing since January, and hopefully, we can reach herd immunity by the summer.
With more students getting vaccinated, we can finally return to how life was before this pandemic and leave the virus in our trials.