ICC ramps up for 5+ vax

KINDERHOOK—Ichabod Crane School Superintendent Suzanne Guntlow announced at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday that Covid-19 vaccines are now available for children 5 to 11 and the county Department of Health will be holding a clinic for Ichabod and Chatham school district students later this month.

She told the board that the district will get the details to parents on the clinic, planned for November 17 with a second date also set.

On November 2, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against Covid-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine.

According to a press release from the CDC, Covid-19 cases in children can result in hospitalizations, deaths, MIS-C (inflammatory syndromes) and long-term complications, such as “long Covid,” in which symptoms can linger for months.

The release says that “the spread of the Delta variant resulted in a surge of Covid-19 cases in children throughout the summer. During a 6-week period in late June to mid-August, Covid-19 hospitalizations among children and adolescents increased fivefold.” The statement goes on to say, “Similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing Covid-19 among children aged 5-11 years.

“In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild, self-limiting, and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children,” Dr. Walensky said.

According to the CDC, plans are to scale up to full capacity for vaccines for children 5 to 11 starting the week of November 8.

At the board meeting, Ms. Guntlow said the district is running out of Covid-19 tests to do surveillance testing of students. She said the district will be able to get through the fall but that due to “production issues” the company supplying the tests to schools in the Questar III/BOCES region, only has a small amount. Ms. Guntlow the state is working with the company on the situation.

As part of the fall opening plan, the district outlined a three-pronged approach to testing – point of care; general surveillance testing used to detect asymptomatic Covid-19 infections in students and staff; and athletic surveillance testing. In August, the district announced that they were only implementing the testing of athletes.

‘Vaccination was nearly 91% effective in preventing Covid-19 among children aged 5-11 years.’

Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director

Centers for Disease Control

As of November 1, the district (listed as Kinderhook CSD on the state reporting website at schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov ) has had 88 total positive Covid-19 cases this year. 80 students, 4 staff and 4 teachers.

Also at the meeting:

• The board heard the plans for the murals, created by students, on the walls of the 100 wing of the high school. Due to the major construction in that area of the school building the murals, which were on the plaster walls, could not be saved. But High School Principal Craig Shull reported to the board that photos were taken of the murals and they will be archived. He said he and the Art Department staff are currently looking at options that might include having another way to display the works in the school or even creating a coffee table book with the proceeds going to the school’s Art Club. Mr. Shull also said there was a new criteria for future murals at the school. He stressed that any new murals will be able to be moved

• The board heard a report from the Math Department about the programs in all the schools

• The board approved the annual 8th grade trip to Washington, DC, for March 2022. Last year the trip was canceled due to Covid-19.

The next board meeting will be December 7 at 7 p.m. Information about the meeting will be posted on the Ichabod Crane website at www.ichabodcrane.org

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email 

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