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City school district to transport students to five vaccination clinics Saturday

A PPS educator gets his COVID-19 vaccine at Heinz Field on March 11, 2021.
Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
A PPS educator gets his COVID-19 vaccine at Heinz Field on March 11, 2021.

Pittsburgh Public schools will offer transportation to and from five vaccination clinics Saturday held at four schools and an outpatient center.

The clinics will be at Langley, Lincoln, Morrow and Weil elementary schools and UPMC’s South Side outpatient center. The district will run yellow bus shuttles from students’ neighborhood schools to those sites. A transportation schedule can be found here.

The district said Thursday that it did not have the total percentage of students vaccinated. A spokesperson said that 80 percent of staff are vaccinated. Its website does encourage vaccination saying that it is the, “best way to keep us all safe and healthy,” and that it’s a key step to keeping schools open.

The district has hosted multiple vaccination clinics including a similar program in December. The program could help resolve a racial gap in childhood vaccinations. On Wednesday, County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen said that she thinks the gap can be attributed to vaccine hesitancy rather than access.

Allegheny County data shows that just seven percent of Black children aged five to nine are vaccinated against COVID-19 while 30 percent of white children in the county have received two doses.

Several Pittsburgh Public schools have been closed this week as COVID-19 exposures exacerbated staffing shortages. The district announced the first round of closures a few hours after it had said it was prepared to return students to classrooms.