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New Haven's Elm City Montessori School hosts COVID vaccine clinic for kids

More than 150 children ages 5 to 11 were able to get free COVID-19 vaccines at a clinic in New Haven on Saturday.

Sponsored by the state, the city and Griffin Health, the clinic was held at the Elm City Montessori School. Local families stood in a line that stretched the length of the building, and first in line was Janice Morton, grandmother of Cass and Kennedy Cordoba, who both attend Wexler-Grant School.

“The children were so excited that it was opened for them,” Morton said. “Every time the children had a runny nose or a small cough they have to stay home, go to the doctor and then wait to show the negative result before going back to the classroom.”

Elm City Montessori is New Haven’s first public Montessori school that serves students from pre-K to eighth grade, with a focus on anti-bias and anti-racist pedagogy.

On Oct. 29, the FDA authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for kids 5 to 11. The children’s dose is one-third of the adult dose.

David Weinreb, a magnet resource teacher at Elm City Montessori, is asking families to seriously consider how they can protect their children’s health and help teach the values of community care. Weinreb also helped lead Vaccinate Fair Haven and worked on the state Department of Public Health’s Equity and Outreach team during the summer.

“As a community, we will continue to offer grace, understanding and patience as each family figures out their plan, and we will continue to provide our children and their families with a clear message that vaccines are safe, effective and best for our school community,” Weinreb said.

A follow-up clinic will be held Saturday, Dec. 4, from noon to 4 p.m.