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COVID-19 vaccinations continue on the road as some parents keep protesting

San Diego Unified School District’s vaccination van continued on the road Monday with a stop at Morse High School.

According to district officials, more than 600 children and adults have gotten COVID-19 shots since last Friday onboard the mobile unit operated through UC San Diego Health.

Maria Florendo brought her 8-year-old grandson, Kainoa Ranjo, to get vaccinated. He has been attending the district’s virtual academy learning from home.

“I want him to be protected," Florendo said. "It’s better that kids are protected because that’s how we show we love them.”

VACCINE BOY 2
Matthew Bowler
8-year-old Kainoa Ranjo waits with his grandparents after getting his first COVID19 vaccine shot. San Diego, Nov. 15, 2021.

The vaccination van started traveling around the district last Wednesday, finishing the week on Friday with a stop at the San Diego Unified Education Center in University Heights. There were so many parents and children in line for shots there, health workers kept the van in operation two hours longer than the original 5 p.m. closing time.

Mobile vaccinations are available to anyone in the community including district staff, families and students. Any child under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian with them in order to be vaccinated.

The UC San Diego Health vaccination van is scheduled to be at Bell Middle School on Tuesday morning, Crawford High School on Wednesday, Mann Middle School on Thursday, and San Diego High School on Friday. The van will return three weeks later to administer second doses at each school location.

CHILD ANTI VACCINE
Matthew Bowler
A school-age girl attending a protest again vaccine mandate for schools in San Diego County holds a sign that uses a pro-choice slogan to oppose vaccine mandates. San Diego, November 15, 2021.

Also on Monday, opponents of school mask and vaccine mandates gathered once again at the Balboa Park Organ Pavilion for a protest. It was a mix of the grassroots organizations called Let Them Breathe and Let Them Choose.

Late Friday, a San Diego Superior Court judge dismissed the Let Them Breathe lawsuit seeking to stop the state’s mandates on masks. The group’s founder Sharon McKeeman refused to talk to KPBS News on Monday because of prior reporting on the movement.

The event attracted parents who kept their children out of school for the day. Dora Barajas Guzman drove from Escondido with her husband and teenaged son and daughter to protest. She voiced the same opinion as many others who attended.

“I am not vaccinated and I feel very strongly about it," she said. "I support anyone who wants to get vaccinated but it is a choice.”

When asked about the vaccination status of her children, Guzman said, “they will not be vaccinated, no.”

The San Diego County Health Department reported more than 7,300 children ages 5 to 11 have now been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

All vaccines are available at the UC San Diego Health mobile unit, including booster shots, vaccines for adults, and vaccines for children ages 5 to 18. Only the Pfizer vaccine has been given FDA emergency authorization to use in children ages 5 to 15 years old.

The Vaccine Van schedule of stops will be updated on the district’s COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.