With COVID-19 cases continuing to drop in Florida and vaccinations now approved for children 5 and up, Miami-Dade County parents and their children can look forward to a holiday season like those of year’s past.
At the beginning of November, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) announced that it was loosening its safety protocols in elementary, middle and high schools and no longer required masks for any public school children. On November 18, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation that facial coverings would no longer be necessary in schools.
The school system did caution parents that the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) still recommends universal masking in schools, regardless of vaccination status.
Following a recommendation from the CDC that recommended the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County began scheduling vaccine appointments for those age groups in mid-November as well.
The M-DCPS also expanded its voluntary COVID-19 vaccination program to include all children ages 5-11. M-DCPS partners with Miami-Dade County, The Children’s Trust, Florida Department of Health (FDOH), University of Miami Health System (UHealth) Pediatric Mobile Clinic, Jessie Trice Community Health Center (JTCHC) and Community Health of South Florida (CHI) to offer the vaccine at dozens of schools throughout the District.
Additionally, the Trust-funded UHealth Pediatric Mobile Clinic sites also offer the COVID-19 vaccine as well as the flu vaccine, school-required vaccines, and COVID-19 testing. To be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, students must be at least five years old on the day they are receiving it. They must also have a completed COVID-19 vaccine screening and consent form, which will be available at the sites where vaccines are administered.
Jackson Health System's Keeping You Safe web pages provide guidance and information on vaccines for children. Below is a video Jackson Health created that pairs children with doctors to ask and answer questions regarding COVID-19 and its vaccines.