The Orcutt Union School District partnered with Albertsons on Thursday to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to around 50 students and community members who had made appointments, along with several who walked in.
The vaccination clinic, held at Orcutt Academy at the end of the school day, was organized to provide convenient access to vaccines for both students and their families, according to Joe Dana, district assistant superintendent of educational services.
While a handful of other school-based vaccine clinics have been held at Santa Maria-area campuses such as Righetti High and Mary Buren Elementary, this is the first in the Orcutt Union School District.
"We just saw this as an opportunity for students and parents who were interested in vaccinations to come by and get it done," Dana said. "We’ve had a pretty positive response from doing today’s clinic. Parents and students appreciated that we put in the effort to make it happen."
Residents ages 12 to 15 currently have the lowest vaccination rate of any age group in Santa Barbara County, with 40% of the age group fully vaccinated, according to county public health data.
The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine that has received emergency use authorization for use in individuals ages 12 to 15. This week, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full authorization for its use in individuals 16 and up, which public health officials hope will encourage more residents to get the shot.
According to Dana, the district will offer another clinic next week at Lakeview Junior High to continue offering convenient vaccine access to students. The clinic will take place from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 2, in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
The Pfizer vaccine will continue to be offered for residents under the age of 18 at the Lakeview clinic, along with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for residents 18 and older who prefer a one-dose option, Dana said.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free and available to all residents age 12 and up, regardless of documentation status. To locate a vaccine walk-in clinic or appointment, visit myturn.ca.gov or publichealthsbc.org/vaccine.