MARIETTA, Ga. - The rollout of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is well underway in metro Atlanta and one school district is trying to help parents get their children the shot as soon as possible. Marietta City Schools plans to set up a vaccine clinic at one of their schools, but some parents have strong opinions about the vaccine.
The one thing parents in the district do appreciate are the options and access to make their own decision when it comes to vaccinating their children.
"I do not feel pressured at all. In fact, I'm grateful that the school district is giving us the option to do it if we want to," said parent Laci Foster.
Foster has one child in first grade in a Marietta City Elementary School. She said she wasn't first in line when the vaccine became available to her and she's taking the same approach with her 7-and-a-half-year-old too.
"I think it's definitely a conversation I’d like to have with her to hear her out. She is only 7-and-a-half, but she does have big feelings and big opinions so," Foster said. "So she's open to the conversation... at some point."
The district sent an email to parents this week about the vaccine drive. If parents were interested in the vaccine, they filled out a form online. If not, the district didn’t require any further action and the emails stopped.
"It was very, very easy we filled out a google form, we were given a time and location and it worked very well with our schedule," said parent Jill Henriquiz-Barnes.
Barnes has a 12-year-old who is vaccinated and she's signed up her kindergartener and first-grader for the vaccine during the upcoming November 12 clinic. With Barnes’ asthma and visiting elderly family members on the regular, she said it is the best choice for her family. And she's grateful Marietta schools make it so easy.
Marietta City Schools Chief Operations Officer Chuck Gardner said "easy and accessible" is what they are aiming for with these clinics.
"Whether or not they're going to make that choice for their family, they're appreciative that we are making it available that it's not mandated, but we're making it easy for those that wish to participate," Gardner said.
It is not too late for parents in the district to sign up. The vaccines will be distributed at Park Elementary School during the clinic on Nov. 13.