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Contra Costa Health Services and Kaiser Permanente began hosting free Covid-19 vaccine clinics at school campuses across the county this week to make vaccines more readily available for residents under 18.

The clinics, which opened Tuesday at Antioch Middle School and Concord High School, will rotate to middle and high schools around the county over the next two months now that children ages 12-15 are eligible.

The clinics will also offer vaccinations to parents and other community members who have yet to get their shot. The two-dose Pfizer vaccine will be offered at all school clinics, as it is currently the only vaccine approved for teenagers.

During a Wednesday briefing at Antioch Middle School, County Board of Supervisors Chair Diane Burgis said:

“It can be really hard to find a convenient time or a location to get vaccinated, especially for families with kids.”

The school clinics, like every other vaccine clinic operated by Contra Costa County, will not require an appointment to get vaccinated.

People under the age of 18, however, will require consent of a parent or guardian to get vaccinated.

Consent forms are available on the Contra Costa Health Services website at https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/vaccine. Consent can also be given via phone call or video chat, according to the county.

With the state set to lift pandemic-related restrictions, particularly for vaccinated people, on June 15, county officials said it will be especially important for non-vaccinated residents to get their shots before then.

Dr. Ori Tzvieli, the county’s deputy health officer said:

“We’re entering an exciting new time when people who are vaccinated can safely do more things together, indoors and outdoors, and without face coverings. … We all want that freedom and we all want the safety.”

As of Wednesday morning, more than 1.2 million vaccine doses have been administered countywide. In addition, 71.2 percent of eligible county residents have received at least one vaccine dose.

Roughly 20 percent of the county’s kids ages 12-15 have received one dose since the county made them available to that age group last week. Nearly 50,000 12-15-year-olds remain unvaccinated in the county.

Dr. Sharon Mowat, Kaiser’s physician in chief for the Diablo Valley service area, said:

“The pandemic has really kept us apart, and we can really end this together.”

Mowat added:

“Getting the Covid-19 vaccine is the fastest way to bring back all those moments that we’ve been missing and the best way, really, to keep our loved ones safe and healthy.”

The full list of vaccination clinics at schools across the county can be found online. All school-based clinics will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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