On Wednesday (11/3), the New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department announced that children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Parents are encouraged to schedule their child’s initial shot and booster with their primary care physicians. They can also do so through the statewide vaccine COVID-19 vaccine registration system vaccineNM.org. Click here for a step-by-step guide for adding your child to your vaccine portal.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of the Covid-19 vaccine for children. Additional resources provided by the AAP regarding the vaccine and children can be found here.
Once your child has received their vaccination, they may experience an immune response, including injection site pain, fever, fatigue, and chills. A doctor’s note or negative Covid test will not be required for students to return following their vaccination. However, we will require that parents fill out the Student Absence Form (citing “Other” as the type of absence) and follow the guidance in the chart below (provided by PED) when evaluating their student for returning to campus following their vaccination. Please click on the image for a larger, easier to read, document.
While a negative covid test will clear your student to return to school, please remember that the morning health screening asks if your child is experiencing any symptoms. We do ask that you answer these questions with the thought that your child might not have covid, but may still be too ill to be at school, and more comfortable at home. If your child is still displaying symptoms even after receiving their negative Covid-19 results, for the health of the community we ask that you keep them home until they are no longer symptomatic.
Utilize this decision tree to help you decide when your child is well enough to return to school.
Escuela Absence Form
In an effort to streamline our tracking of student absences (both for planned absences and illness), and to make the process of reporting when your student is out easier, we have created the Escuela Absence Form. You can create a shortcut of this form on your phone as you’ve done with the community health screening for quick access. It can also be accessed via the Parent Portal (password OurEscuela).
As a Covid-safe practice and licensing requirement from the Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) and Public Education Department (PED), it is imperative that we maintain accurate absence and illness records.
While we recognize obtaining a Covid test may be more expedient, we do request that parents err on the side of caution for the well-being of their children – Covid is not the only illness we all must think about as we head into cold and flu season.