Head of School's Message: September 13

Receiving the vaccine is becoming a new rite of passage for twelve-year-olds. 
In a New York Times article last Monday, The Best Birthday Present When You’re Turning 12 is Getting the Covid Vaccine, Journalist Emma Goldberg wrote, “Reaching 14 or 15 opens the doors to high school; turning 17 grants permission to view ‘R’ rated movies; 18 delivers the right to vote, and 21 brings the legal age to buy alcohol in many states. But since May, 12th birthdays have new significance since the food and drug administration gave the Pfizer vaccine emergency use authorization for children 12 and older.”
On Wednesday, I asked a group of Chandler seventh-grade students how they felt about being vaccinated and what they would say to persuade unvaccinated and eligible to get vaccinated. “I feel safer,” said one boy, “The vaccine is tested by scientists. It protects you. It saves lives. Everything will open up like it was if everyone is vaccinated.”
“It’s awesome being vaccinated because it makes me feel protected. That’s how I would persuade someone. It protects,” said a girl. “To be honest,” observed another girl, “I don’t feel any different, but I like knowing I have a lower risk of getting sick.”
“I’m relieved now that I’m vaccinated. I don’t have to be nervous about seeing my friends,” said another girl. “I would say to someone who is not vaccinated that if you get it, you don’t have to be nervous anymore.”
One of the boys commented, “It’s not fair not to get vaccinated. You’re keeping yourself safe and others safe. Most students at Chandler are not old enough to get it, so those of us who are old enough should get it.”
60% of eligible Chandler students have been vaccinated so far. Chandler parents are encouraged to make sure that all eligible students are vaccinated by the end of October and to notify the school once vaccinations are complete.
LA County Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer continues to emphasize that virus outbreaks in schools should be rare provided adults and students adhere to safety measures including masking, hand-washing and good ventilation. “If all eligible children were vaccinated, we would dramatically reduce transmission.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s senior infectious disease expert, quoted last week in the LA Times said that there should be enough data by early October for the FDA to consider whether the vaccine, under an emergency use authorization, is safe for children younger than 12. Dr. Fauci believes there’s a reasonable chance that the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine could get FDA clearance for children younger than 12 before the upcoming holiday season.