South Carolina’s largest college districts are divided over whether or not to open clinics providing the COVID-19 vaccine to college students ages 5 to 11.
Three of the state’s greatest districts — Charleston County College District, Berkeley County College District, and Horry County College District — are planning to open clinics as quickly as subsequent week. However Greenville County College District is prohibiting comparable clinics from opening on college grounds.
The difficulty Greenville County’s college board has is that despite the fact that the Pfizer vaccine was granted emergency authorization by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration for youngsters ages 5 to 11 years previous, the vaccine nonetheless hasn’t obtained official FDA approval for that age group.
At a Nov. 9 assembly, Greenville’s college board voted 8-0 with one abstention to vary its coverage on how college district buildings are allowed for use by the group. Board members wished to present time for the vaccine to obtain full approval for the 5- to 11-year-old age group earlier than selling it.
“We felt, right here in Greenville, we had all of the shops that we wanted to offer the vaccine if dad and mom want to have their kids vaccinated,” board chair Roger Meek stated in an interview with The Publish and Courier.
The board nonetheless plans to permit clinics for vaccines which have obtained full FDA approval, which incorporates COVID-19 vaccines for folks ages 12 and up. Meek added that he is absolutely vaccinated and helps the vaccine for himself.
Greenville County’s college board will take a last vote on the problem at its Nov. 16 assembly.
College leaders hope that by providing clinics they may help quell the unfold of the virus. Till now, these college students had no safety towards the virus other than masks and social distancing.
Some Charleston County College District leaders are particularly welcoming of the vaccine as a result of the district simply ended its masks mandate on Nov. 10. Some schooling leaders famous that this would possibly trigger quarantines to rise as a result of the S.C. Division of Well being and Environmental Management requires unmasked college students to quarantine if they arrive into shut contact with a optimistic case.
But when college students are vaccinated, DHEC stated that they don’t have to quarantine if they arrive in shut contact with a optimistic case and do not present signs of the virus.
Ellen Nitz, director of nursing providers at Charleston County College District, stated the vaccine provides college students “an added layer of safety.”
“The extra folks which are vaccinated, the much less optimistic instances that we’ve,” Nitz stated.
In Charleston, college nurses have been in a position to vaccinate over 7,000 employees members, 1,308 excessive schoolers and 1,589 folks throughout clinics held on the district’s center colleges, which have been open to members of the general public. Nitz hopes to see equally excessive numbers for the remaining college students.
Officers in Horry County hope their clinics, which will probably be held Nov. 16 and Nov. 17, will assist decrease any added unfold of the virus in the course of the vacation season, when many college students are round older kin or touring.
Berkeley County College District is within the means of planning its clinics and can launch extra data at a later date, spokeswoman Katie Tanner stated.
Observe Libby Stanford on Twitter @libbystanford.