The Biden administration is pressuring school officials to help get students vaccinated, according to new reports.
The news comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children as young as five-years-old.
According to a report from The Hill, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona wrote a letter to elementary school principals and superintendents on Monday urging them to help push the vaccine on some of their youngest students.
“Today we reach out to you with encouragement for you to actively support the vaccination process for children in your state, territories, county, tribes, communities, and schools,” the letter said.
The two officials went on to declare that the vaccine is “the best tool we have to keep our students safe from COVID-19,” and keep schools open.
The letter cited a poll asserting that parents are “twice as likely” to get their child vaccinated if the school is actively pushing for it.
“Parents listen closely to school leaders and personnel: according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll from earlier this summer, parents are approximately twice as likely to get their child vaccinated if their school provides information about the vaccine,” the officials wrote.
“We urge you to do all you can to help parents and families learn about the vaccine and get access to it,” they added.
The officials did not just request help getting information to parents, however. They also asked administrators to hold COVID-19 vaccine clinics at their schools.
“Specifically, Becerra and Cardona are asking school administrators to host COVID-19 vaccine clinics at their facilities to offer on-site inoculation, distribute information about the vaccine to all families that have children ages five to 11 so they have facts and figures from a trusted source, and host conversations about the vaccine with school communities in partnership with doctors and other trusted local medical voices,” the Hill report explains.