Nacogdoches ISD in early planning stages to offer voluntary COVID-19 vaccines to high school students

Nacogdoches ISD in early planning stages to offer voluntary COVID-19 vaccines to high school students
Source: Nacogdoches ISD Facebook page (Source: Nacogdoches ISD Facebook page)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Nacogdoches ISD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo said the district is in the early coordinating and planning stages to offer voluntary COVID-19 vaccines for students 16 years of age and older.

Trujillo said the district was sought out by officials with the State of Texas to offer the vaccines.

“Nacogdoches County did a tremendous job of streamlining the vaccination of its community in partnership with SFA, its nursing program, fire departments, city municipalities, and they got the attention of the State,” Trujillo said.

Trujillo said they are coordinating with various city and county entities and officials on logistics of providing the vaccines for students, as well as, plans to release information regarding the vaccination process soon for parents/guardians.

“Vaccinations are purely voluntary,” Trujillo said. “Nobody is going to be forced to get a vaccine. We want to make sure we can streamline it between now and the end of the year and give our parents enough notification so that students are prepared.”

He said they are working to figure how to provide first and second doses for students who want the vaccines, with parental permission.

“It’s not just the first vaccine,” Trujillo said. “We also have to coordinate and be prepared what does this second vaccine look like and having students come back. If it requires them to come back, after school is dismissed what does that mechanism look like specifically Nacogdoches High School to get their second vaccine.”

Trujillo said the vaccines would also be for district staff members, if desired.

“I want to make sure every staff member at Nacogdoches ISD has had an opportunity to say, ‘yes or no,’” Trujillo said. “I don’t want anyone to say, ‘well, I haven’t had an opportunity or been approached about the vaccine.’ I want to make sure every staff member has had that opportunity to say, ‘yes or no,’ and then we move into the transition of what they look like for our students that are 16 years of age or older.”

Trujillo said the process will happen within the next few weeks with more communication to the community and parents/guardians. School officials say the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines would be provided for staff members and the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for students age 16 and older.

“I want to make it clear, we did not go out and seek this out,” Trujillo said. “They looked at our city and county and said, ‘hey, they did something amazing there, with the number of folks they vaccinated. That’s a good place to start is with the school district.’”

Trujillo said he is proud of the work provided by the city, county and SFA.

“This is what this whole year has been about is the collaboration of entities that in the past have operated in silos,” Trujillo said. “That’s the one thing I hope will not go away are the relationship and partnerships that we’ve strengthen during this time to make it better not just for Nacogdoches ISD but Nacogdoches County and our Nacogdoches students and staff.”

NISD and its partners are in the earliest planning stages of preparing for vaccinations. Once dates and times have been set, most likely later on in May, the district will provide detailed information to parents and staff.

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