Chicago Cancels School for Vaccination Awareness Day

( Chicago public schools canceled classes on Friday and declared November 12 “Vaccination Awareness Day” leaving many parents scrambling.

The school district sent out an email to parents the week before to let them know that, in addition to having Thursday off for Veterans Day, the school was giving students the Friday off as well, and urged parents to use the day off to get their children vaccinated for COVID.

Parents weren’t too happy with the sudden notice and slammed the school’s vaccine rollout plan.

Some parents argued that, instead of canceling classes, the Chicago public schools should have offered on-campus vaccine clinics. Having the vaccinations take place at the children’s schools, some parents believed, would make it much more convenient for both parents and children alike.

Even the Chicago Teachers Union vice president criticized the slipshod plan. In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Stacy Davis Gates conceded that a day off for vaccinations is a good idea. However, she said the district should have put in place a comprehensive plan that included providing transportation for parents and placing vaccination sites at the schools. Without that, Davis Gates explained, this “Vaccine Awareness Day” was little more than a stunt.

Several parents urged Chicago Public Schools to follow New York City’s plan.

Last week, New York City announced that they would set up vaccination sites within all 1,080 public schools across the city from November 8th through the 15th. Students with verbal consent from a parent or guardian could receive the first dose of the vaccine at these school-based sites. After which the school plans to work with parents to schedule their child’s second dose somewhere else.

Though, according to the New York Times, when the first two hundred vaccination sites kicked off on Monday, things didn’t go according to plan. At some of the schools, parents and children waited in line for hours as the sites were swamped with more people than they anticipated. The demand was so great at some locations, they ran out of the vaccine before everyone in line could get a shot.