Safe Schools Checklist

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How to Get Your School Community Vaccinated and Maintain Safe, InPerson Learning All Year Long

All staff and students ages 6 months and older are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Now, more than ever, to protect the progress we’ve made in bringing nearly all schools safely back for in-person learning, it is crucial that schools get as many students and staff vaccinated as possible.

Getting vaccinated is easy, safe, and effective. The available vaccines for children ages 6 months and older are specifically formulated for kids. The COVID vaccines for everyone ages 5 and older work well to prevent people from getting very sick from COVID. They should work just as well for children ages 6 months through 4 years. It is our best defense against the virus, and our best path back to the regular, inperson learning our students and families know and love.

Every school can take action right away to make sure as many members of their school communities as possible get vaccinated.

Schools – Here’s what you can do to help get your staff and students protected

You can use American Rescue Plan and other federal pandemic relief funding for schools to advance these strategies:

  • Host school-located vaccination clinics. Hosting a clinic for your school is simple. We have developed resources, toolkits, and other materials to help you implement school-located vaccination clinics. And we can match you with a vaccine provider in your area to administer shots. Federal pandemic relief funds for schools are available for clinic costs, as well as full federal reimbursement through states.
  • In states or jurisdictions that require vaccinations for teachers and staff, make sure all personnel are aware of the requirement. Vaccines help prevent the spread of COVID by reducing the number of people who are infected. The federal government has successfully implemented its vaccine requirement across federal agencies, increasing vaccinations while avoiding disruptions to operations. Guidance for federal agencies is available here.
  • Encourage all eligible school staff, parents, and family members to get a booster shot. All vaccinated people 5 and older should get COVID-19 vaccine boosters to keep up their protection against COVID-19. Learn more about staying up to date with COVID vaccines and find a booster site at vaccines.gov.
  • Host family vaccine clinics. Family vaccination sites are intended to serve the whole family, offering primary COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone 6 months and older and booster shots for everyone 5 years and older. Learn how to host these in partnership with local health departments or pharmacies.
  • Distribute information about COVID-19 vaccines through schools. Parents rely on teachers, principals, school nurses, and other school personnel to help keep their students safe, informed, and healthy every school year. Use resources from We Can Do This to distribute vaccine information to your parent community.
  • Host community engagements about the vaccines with local pediatricians and other doctors. Hosting conversations in partnership with medical professionals in your community can help ensure that parents have access to all the information they need to make their vaccine decisions. Invite a pediatrician by reaching out to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Test regularly. As you work to increase vaccination, testing remains an important strategy to detect and limit the spread of COVID-19 in schools. The Administration provided $10 billion in funding for COVID-19 screening for teachers, staff, and students in schools. Additionally, CDC has been studying approaches to quarantining and testing, including looking at the science and data of how it may keep school communities safe. CDC will release its findings on these approaches in the coming weeks

Parents – Getting your child vaccinated is the best way to keep them safe from COVID

All children ages 6 months and older are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all parents to get their children vaccinated to:

  • Protect your child. Getting vaccinated helps prevent serious illness and keep your child learning in-person at school all year long.
  • Protect your whole family, including vulnerable members of your household. Getting vaccinated protects your child, your relatives and other care providers in your household, and any other loved ones your child spends time with.
  • Avoid quarantine and interruptions to in-person learning. Asymptomatic, vaccinated close contacts do not need to quarantine at home following an exposure to someone with COVID. Getting vaccinated helps students and staff remain safely in school.
  • Be excused from COVID screening tests. People who are up to date with their COVID vaccines do not need to participate in screening tests and do not need to quarantine if they do not have any symptoms.
  • Help prevent extracurriculars, sports, and other activities from getting canceled. We can facilitate safer participation in activities like sports, band, and chorus by making sure all participants are up to date with their COVID vaccines.
  • Help your child keep doing the things they love. Getting vaccinated can help prevent your child from missing out on the fun of childhood—like sleepovers, birthday parties, sporting events, and more.

We know the path to controlling the virus and limiting variants: get vaccinated, get boosted, and take your children to get vaccinated. Vaccinations for kids are easy, convenient, and free—readily available at more than 35,000 trusted locations.

Don’t delay—now is the time. Get vaccinated today by visiting vaccines.gov.