Public schools in Chicago to close Nov. 12 for 'Vaccine Awareness Day'

Public schools in Chicago to close Nov. 12 for 'Vaccine Awareness Day'
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The Chicago Public School System is giving its students an unexpected day off on Friday, Nov. 12, in order to allow younger children to get vaccinated, reports CBS Chicago

CBS reports the day will be recognized as "Vaccine Awareness Day" and is intended to encourage parents and guardians to get their kids vaccinated against COVID-19.

Government agencies recently approved vaccines for children under the age of 12, and children have begun receiving the COVID-19 vaccines this week.

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The 340,000 students in the Chicago school system already have the day off on Nov. 11 for Veterans Day, and now have another day off on Nov. 12 with the school district's hope for caregivers to take kids out to go get vaccinated against the coronavirus after speaking to their pediatricians, reports CBS. 

The school district is hoping that appointments will be available as its own clinics will be open, but by preexisting appointment only, states CBS. 

CVS announced that appointments to vaccinate kids aged 5 to 11 will open Sunday, Nov. 7, and Walgreens stated that it will open appointments for younger children as soon as Nov. 6 with both pharmacy chains offering appointments all across the country.

The Chicago Teachers Union is praising the decision to promote COVID-19 vaccinations. 

“We welcome the district acknowledging the urgent need for parents and families to vaccinate their children, and providing time and opportunity to do so."

CBS has reported, however, that some working parents and guardians are frustrated at the short notice of "Vaccine Awareness Day," and a skeptical teacher has said that they believe the reason for the additional day off is a shortage of substitute teachers.