School districts wait for more state guidance as vaccine eligibility expands to people 16 and up

Local News

CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — People 16 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday. That is welcomed news for Thomas Colabufo, Superintendent of Central Square Central Schools.

“It’s exciting,” he said.

Since his district has schools in Onondaga and Oswego counties, he’s waiting for guidance from their respective health departments. He said his district will do whatever it can to help.

“We wouldn’t be providing the vaccinations, but if it’s something like Onondaga County where they provide schools and that the parents give permission, then we would provide the space to do that,” Colabufo said.

Because the age expansion is so new, districts still have many questions for the state health department. Those questions include if they can provide transportation to vaccine sites? Would school nurses be able to administer the vaccine? And how will this impact social distancing guidelines in schools?

“We’re waiting on them to tell us what the most recent CDC ruling on six feet to three feet means for New York State. We will await the new york state department of health to tell us what guidance now can be adjusted based on when individuals are vaccinated,” said Dr. Donna DeSiato, Superintendent of East Syracuse Minoa Central Schools.

Dr. DeSiato said the district will do its part to inform families in the school district, but it’s a personal choice for parents if they want their child vaccinated.

“Their primary source of information would be their own physician,” DeSiato explained.

Both superintendents say this gets them a little closer to getting back to normal.

Currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine that has been authorized for use, in people 16 and 17 years old.

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