Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Although nearly half of the population in Oklahoma has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the pandemic is not over yet. This means everyone — especially children who do not yet have access to the vaccine — need to be diligent about taking steps to stop the spread of the disease.
As the school year approaches, here are some tips on keeping your child and your family safe.
Book your child’s COVID-19 vaccination appointment
Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone ages 12 and up get a COVID-19 vaccination. If your child fits into that age bracket, make sure to book their vaccination appointment soon. Depending on the vaccine they receive, it can take more than a month for them to be fully vaccinated from the time they receive the first dose.
Speak with your child’s primary doctor, visit your local drugstore, or go to Vaccinate.Oklahoma.Gov to find a vaccine near you.
If your child is under age 12, stay up-to-date on the latest vaccination news to learn when they may have access to the vaccine.
Learn about safety measures at your child’s school
Before your child goes back to the classroom, make sure to read up on current policies and procedures at their school related to COVID-19. Also, learn more about COVID-19 trends in the area, including rates of infection and vaccination statistics. Visit Oklahoma.Gov/COVID19 to see current COVID-19 data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health daily.
Continue taking precautions
Make sure to also speak to your child about the pandemic and their feelings on returning back to school. Reinforce the following safety measures to keep everyone protected:
- Consider having them wear a face mask at school (ensure it’s a clean mask each day and covers their mouth and nose).
- Have them avoid touching other students or teachers (attempt to stay at least six feet apart, if possible).
- Limit their exposure to large groups or crowds, especially if unmasked.
- Teach them to wash or sanitize their hands often and avoid touching their face, especially their mouth and nose.
- Have them cough or sneeze into a tissue and throw the tissue away or cough/sneeze into the bend in the elbow. Wash or sanitize hands immediately.
- Instruct them to not share food or drinks with others.
- Keep them home if they’re sick (review the school policy for guidance on when to return to school after being sick).
Make sure your child is also current on other immunizations and set a reminder for your family’s flu vaccinations this fall. It is recommended that you get a flu vaccination by the end of October, if possible.