Vaccine Update 11/4

Dear Parents/Guardians:

As you may be aware, the COVID-19 vaccination is now available to children between the ages of 5 and 11.  Use of the vaccine for individuals ages 12 to 17 was approved in May 2021, which means the majority of our students are now eligible to receive the vaccine.

Although vaccine availability for children 5 to 11 moves us one step closer to California’s plan to mandate vaccines for all school-aged children, the state’s new regulation won’t apply until vaccines for juveniles, ages 12-17, and children, ages 5-11, are fully authorized by the FDA. Once the vaccines are fully approved, students will have until the next term to complete their vaccinations and attend school in person. State officials have said that July 1 is the earliest the mandate is expected to begin.

The County of San Diego offers these reasons why young people should get a vaccine:

  • COVID-19 vaccines are the safest way to acquire protection from the COVID-19 virus.

  • While less common, young people may still suffer serious symptoms or long-term effects from COVID-19 disease.

  • Younger people may spread the virus to more vulnerable members of our community.

  • The more vaccinated individuals our community has, the less opportunity there is for different or new strains to spread or occur.

  • Fully vaccinated individuals can feel safer doing the things they enjoy.

  • Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine at home if exposed unless they develop symptoms.

At this time, the vaccine created by Pfizer is the only one available to individuals ages 5 to 11. According to the FDA, the vaccine is administered as a two-dose primary series, three weeks apart, but is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for individuals 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms).

If you plan to get your child vaccinated, first check with your health care provider for availability. If you cannot get a vaccination from a health care provider, visit myturn.ca.gov or the County of San Diego vaccination website, or check with your local pharmacy or community clinic.

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccination process, please visit the county’s resource webpage.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Gigi Guzman at ggguzman@bellamentecharter.org.

Sincerely,

Erin Feeley, Executive Director