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Harford County Public Schools to offer COVID vaccines for all students ages 12 and older next week

Harford County Public Schools’ students ages 12 and older will have the opportunity to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at their middle or high school on Monday.

The clinic, which is being offered by the Harford County Health Department and University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health is optional. Second doses will be available at school clinics on June 10.

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Parents were sent a message Monday night with a link to register, but they can also navigate to the link on the HCPS website by visiting the Health Center under the Parents tab on hcps.org.

Students attending school virtually may also receive their vaccine. Parents and guardians must complete and return a parent acknowledgement form, before the clinic date, for entry into the school. For virtual students, upon arrival, only the student should enter the building. Anyone accompanying the student to the school should remain in the vehicle while the student is in the school building receiving vaccine.

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Youth ages 12-17 recently became eligible to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which is what will be administered to students who wish to participate in the school vaccine clinics.

The announcement of vaccine clinics in the schools comes on the heels of several changes to the HCPS Operations Status, in light of Gov. Larry Hogan lifting a number of COVID-19 restrictions last week. Crucially, however, masks are still being required in schools.

“In reference to lifting the mask mandate, Governor Hogan shared on his Instagram account, ‘For the time being, and also following CDC guidance, public transportation, health care settings, and schools are the only exception,’” the school system said in an announcement to parents in response to numerous inquiries about how the changes would affect HCPS.

“Remember, anyone under 12 doesn’t have the option to get vaccinated yet,” HCPS spokesperson Jillian Lader wrote in an email.

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The Pfizer vaccine is also what is being given at most of the state’s mass vaccination sites, including Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. The Ripken Stadium site is currently taking walk-ups from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and appointments from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

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