Rapides Parish schools administering COVID-19 vaccine to students, faculty and staff

The vaccine is completely optional in Rapides Parish schools.
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 1:22 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Rapides Parish schools have been administering the COVID-19 vaccine to students, faculty and staff. During the first few weeks of school, faculty sent out a consent form to parents with children eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

If the parents sign off on the vaccine, students over 12 years old are able receive both doses of the shot while at school, completely free of charge.

So far, JI Barron School Nurse Practitioner, Jessica Barton, told KALB that around 80 faculty and staff members have received the COVID-19 vaccine. At the high school level, Barton said several COVID vaccine doses have been administered to students at Alexandria Senior High and Pineville High.

Students, faculty and staff in Rapides Parish schools are also able to get tested for COVID as often as they’d like. If anyone has any questions about the vaccine, Barton said the health unit has an open-door policy.

“Things definitely have been different with COVID. There’s a lot of paranoia with symptoms and runny nose and cough and who should be tested and when they should be tested and is it safe for them to be in class, and so we do a lot of education on COVID-19. We try to encourage them and educate them and keep them as safe as we can.”

JI Barron Family Nurse Practitioner, Jessica Barton

It’s important to note, the vaccine is completely optional in Rapides Parish schools.

JI Barron also has a quarantine area for students who do test positive for COVID-19.

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