Oakland vaccine clinic offers free school supplies, added confidence for classroom-bound students

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The back-to-school countdown is on across the Bay Area for many kids getting back to in-person learning.

For many, it's the first time they've been in a classroom since the pandemic began. Getting kids vaccinated, is important to many parents. In Oakland Saturday, a vaccine clinic offered shots and free school supplies to families.

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"I've been bugging my mom to let me do it, because I want to go back to school and see my friends," said 12-year-old Aida Ndaiya.

Ndaiya, from Oakland, is getting ready for 7th grade. She just scored a free backpack, A's tickets and a Target gift card after getting vaccinated at the pop-up clinic. But she didn't come for the free swag.

"I think because I get vaccinated, I'll be able to protect others around me, even if I get COVID, which I'm not wishing for," said Ndiaya.

The vaccination clinic was hosted by Bebe Memorial Cathedral and Kaiser Permanente, where doctors are concerned about the rise in the contagious Delta variant, especially in underserved communities.

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"Today we're offering vaccine to those 12 and older, especially with our children headed back to school, we need to get them vaccinated and slow the spread," said Dr. Nailah Thompson from Oakland Kaiser Hospital.

Pastor Charley Hames, Jr. says many young people in the community, still don't believe in the vaccine, including members of his own family.

"I have three young adults, two are vaccinated the youngest is not. I'm working on her everyday, part of it is the misinformation," said Hames.

Twelve-year-old Daniela Campos admits she was skeptical about the shot.

"I really didn't want to do it because I felt like it was scary, but I did it," said Campos.

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"She was a little scared, excited to go back to school," said parent Zoila Montoya.

In a message to parents, the Oakland Unified School District Superintendent said, "We need every Oaklander at least 12 years old to get vaccinated, and younger children to do so once they become eligible. It will protect our country, it will protect our city and it will protect our schools."

For those too young to get vaccinated, doctors say masks are still the best defense.

Masks will be mandatory for all students in Oakland Public Schools, when in-person learning resumes on August 9.


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