U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra sent a letter to school principals Nov. 8 asking for assistance with several key components to getting children vaccinated.

The letter requested leaders host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at their school, distribute vaccine information to all families with children ages 5 to 11 and hold conversations with school communities on the COVID-19 vaccine.

In the letter, they state, “Vaccination is the best tool we have to keep our students safe from COVID-19, maintain in-person learning, and prevent the closure of schools and cancellation of valued extracurricular activities. And vaccination, paired with prevention strategies that are layered and implemented correctly — such as masking, testing, tracing, distancing and improving ventilation — can significantly limit COVID-19 transmission. Schools play a vital role in providing access to the vaccine and trusted information on it. Parents listen to school leaders and personnel: according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll from this summer, parents are approximately twice as likely to get their child vaccinated if their school provides information about the vaccine. We urge you to do all you can to help parents and families learn about the vaccine and get access to it.”

To support schools, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has provided a “Guide to Hosting COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics at School.”

For further information about the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccination recommendations for pediatric populations, please see the following information:

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that COVID-19 vaccinations are now available for children ages 5 to 11, the administration estimates that approximately 900,000 children received their first dosage of the vaccine as of Wednesday, Nov. 10. According to administration officials, more than 700,000 appointments were recently available at local pharmacies.