Leaders of Hartford City and public schools on Tuesday made a public appeal to have more city students vaccinated, while data show that less than a third of the district’s eligible children are fully vaccinated.
“We want everyone vaccinated. So the effort will continue, “said Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez at a press conference at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy.
Despite more than a year of worldwide vaccination efforts, Hartford’s school system has more unvaccinated children than the vaccinated. Only 31 percent of students across the district have received their full range of COVID shots.
“The hesitation still exists. There are still barriers, whether it’s that our families are busy, whether it’s a transportation barrier, whether it’s just knowing where they’re going,” Torres-Rodriguez said.
Throughout the week, families can come and be vaccinated at clinics set up in dozens of urban schools every evening from 16 to kl. 19. The clinics are administered by Griffin Health.
Gospel DuVerger, a mother from Hartford, says she thought vaccinations among students were low, but was surprised to hear how low, making her worried about student health.
“They are very compromised. They do not have much control. So that is a low number,” she said.
Mayor Luke Bronin says they recognize that families may still have concerns about vaccinating their children, but pointed to high vaccination rates for adults to remove the concerns, as many families have at least one resident protected.
“They are safe, they are effective, and they are important. Hopefully, the first-hand knowledge in almost every family will translate into a greater willingness to be vaccinated, to get children vaccinated,” Bronin said.
With the state’s daily COVID-19 positivity rate ticking up above 3.5 percent on Tuesday, city and school officials say they are preparing for another hike and hope more of their children are protected from COVID before it arrives.
“There are all the unknowns with COVID, the long-term effects on your cardiovascular system, your brain development. It’s just not worth the risk,” Bronin said.