School-Located Vaccination Clinics: Best Practices for School Districts

A Guide for School District Administrators

Parents and children waiting in line at a school located clinic

Schools are a large part of daily life for many children and their families and play an important role in COVID-19 prevention. As a result, schools are uniquely positioned to teach about, link families to, or even assist in delivering COVID-19 vaccines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends for all children ages 5 and older to receive COVID-19 vaccination. School-located vaccination clinics help make COVID-19 vaccination as accessible as possible to students.

The information on this page can serve as a roadmap for how school district administrators can work directly with health departments and other vaccine providers such as pharmacies to set up vaccination clinics in places that K–12 students and their parents know and trust.

Steps to Hosting a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at Your School District

1. Partner with a COVID-19 vaccine provider.

Vaccine providers include local health departmentsexternal icon, community health centersexternal icon, pediatric clinics, pharmacies, children’s hospitalexternal icons, and other medical providers.

For help with the identification of an appropriate vaccine provider:

  • First, you should follow existing guidance, for example from your local or state health department, regarding who to partner with for school-located vaccination clinics. You can consider partnering with providers you have used for flu vaccination clinics and providers your school district used for adolescent COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Schools can contact your state, territorial, local or tribal health department, following your standard lines of communication, regarding potential partners.
  • You can also visit vaccines.gov to identify vaccine providers near you and can contact pharmacies directly to request a vaccination clinic.
  • If your school district cannot find a vaccine provider using the steps outlined above, you may request to be matched to a pharmacy partner in your area, if they have the ability to support a vaccination clinic. To submit a request, a school district representative may follow these steps:
    1. Go to https://protect-ows.hhs.gov/secure-upload/login/ggzslyr3ad6g244nhqxtgevmhoexternal icon
    2. Accept user agreement
    3. Enter email address and password: vaccine
    4. You will receive an email at the email address you provided. [Note: CDC will accept requests from school district representatives (one request per district) or officials from schools unaffiliated with a school district (e.g., private schools). Individual schools within school districts should ask their school district to submit a request.]

2. Define roles and responsibilities.

While COVID-19 vaccine providers are typically responsible for all clinical operations and reporting, school districts play a critical role in engaging students and their families.

Sample roles and responsibilities:

CDC guidance supports coadministration of COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines ─ including influenza vaccines, without regard to timing.

Determine with your vaccine provider whether your clinics will offer influenza vaccination or other routine vaccinations for students who are behind in their vaccinations because of the pandemic and whether your clinics will offer vaccinations for staff and families.

3. Pick a date and a location.

  • Pick a convenient, trusted location for your vaccination clinic.
  • Determine the days and hours of operation to allow parents and caregivers with varying work schedules and transportation options the opportunity to accompany their children if desired.
  • Discuss options with vaccine providers for hosting clinics at the provider location (e.g., pharmacy) to reduce logistics burden for schools.
  • If resources are limited, consider offering one clinic at a central location for all schools in your district.

4. Begin outreach to schools, parents, and healthcare providers

As a school district administrator, you will play a critical role in engaging schools in your district and educating parents.

  • Draft letters or use customizable content and letter templates to share information about the upcoming vaccination clinic(s) with school principals, healthcare providers, and parents. Include general vaccination information in these communications, especially that COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone and individuals can receive a vaccine regardless of immigration or insurance status.
  • To amplify and engage your community, consider posting on social media, sharing signage, and leveraging trusted messengers in your community.

Outreach strategies by audience

5. Host your clinic.

  • Work with the vaccine provider to finalize the operations of your event.
  • Continue to engage your community, including day-of reminders.
  • Provide a post-vaccination letter to parents with information about potential side effects, timing of the next dose (if relevant), and other important information.
Page last reviewed: November 19, 2021