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Low COVID vaccination rates reported in Baltimore County Public Schools

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Not enough Baltimore County Public School students are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the school system’s head nurse.

School officials are gearing up to try to get more shots into the arms of county children.

The school system has a goal of getting 80% of its students vaccinated. Head nurse Debbie Somerville told the school board Tuesday night only 31% of elementary school students have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Almost two-thirds of high school students and about 50% of middle schoolers have been vaccinated.

Somerville said BCPS and the health department are starting a vaccination program.

“The campaign will include information for our parents, outreach to families to answer questions and assist with scheduling appointments, and an increase in school-located vaccine clinics,” Somerville said.

A vaccination clinic is scheduled for Lansdowne Elementary School Thursday, February 10 from 5:00-7:45 pm.

The rate of reported COVID-19 cases in the county schools continues to decline. Last week, there were 381 cases, according to school system data. That’s nearly 400 fewer than the week before.

Of those 381 cases, 237 were in elementary schools.

“We know that our youngest students have the lowest vaccination rates and suspect that that may be part of the difference between elementary and (secondary) student case rates,” Somerville said.