Students walking out of school

The Vaccine Drive is from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

El Campo ISD will host a COVID vaccine drive on Monday Sept. 27 for staff and eligible students accompanied by their parents. 

The vaccine drive is part of the trustees’ effort to mitigate COVID-19 without violating the governor’s order against mask mandates.

The El Campo ISD school board unanimously voted to strongly recommend masks and provide a vaccine drive last month.

“The board tasked me with working to provide vaccines within the district,” Superintendent Bob Callaghan said. “I immediately reached out to Monica Ott, district lead nurse assigned to the high school, and we looked for a partner to provide vaccines.”

The Texas Department of State Health Services COVAX team will provide Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday. Parents must accompany students and sign a consent form.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a resurgence due to the Delta Variant of the virus. As of Sept. 21, more than 60,000 Texans have died of COVID-19, according to the DSHS. (See related story on page)

“We must continue to stress the importance of wearing our masks...keeping a safe distance, washing our hands or using hand sanitizer frequently and getting vaccinated,” Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Debbie Cenko said. “Wharton County continues to lag behind the state percentages of eligible population vaccinated.”

El Campo ISD currently has 86 positive cases among students reported in September. This number far exceeds the 18 confirmed positive cases from last year at this time.

Callaghan says he will not mandate masks or switch to virtual learning. 

“The governor’s no mask mandate has been supported by the courts. Therefore, we are following the governor’s executive order not to require masks,” Callaghan said.

In Texas, 58.7 percent of Texas’ population have received at least one dose, and 50.1 percent are fully vaccinated. 

“Nurse Ott has done an exceptional job under some extreme circumstances,” Callaghan said. “It is important for our campuses to provide students with services beyond education to help promote their overall mental, physical and emotional health and well-being.”

The vaccine drive will be held in the high school auditorium. ECISD Will have a second vaccine drive in mid-October for those students who choose to take the Pfizer vaccine.

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