More than 70% of all school-age children in Malden ages 12-19 have been vaccinated; 40% of children aged 5-11 citywide ‘vaxxed’
Malden’s vaccination rate for the majority of its school-age children is among the highest in the state of Massachusetts. Among the numbers cited during Monday night’s lengthy discussion at the Malden School Committee meeting regarding the Malden Public Schools’ mask mandate was the city’s impressive COVID-19 vaccination rate.
Particular numbers included in a brief, but detailed rundown by School Committee Chairperson and Mayor Gary Christenson was the number of school-age children who have been fully vaccinated. The Mayor reported that over 70% of all school-age children in Malden between the ages of 15-19 have been fully vaccinated. Also, some 70% percent of children ages 12-15 have been fully vaccinated. Additionally, some 40% of all schoolchildren between the ages of 5-11 are also fully vaccinated, according to the figures as of March 1, 2022, the Mayor said. (Children below the age of 5 are not eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination.)
“Malden has done a very good job,” Mayor Christenson said, referring to the school-age children’s vaccination rates. “We are ahead of the national average.”
The Mayor said that nationwide 58% of all persons aged 15-19 have been fully vaccinated; 56.4% of those aged 12-15; and 22.6 of those aged 5-11.
Each member of the Malden School Committee at Monday night’s meeting referenced both the Mayor’s vaccination numbers – as reported directly from the Malden Board of Health and Health Department Director Chris Webb; and the Malden Public Schools administration’s online “COVID-19 Data Dashboard” – as factors in their decision in voting on the mask mandate, whether they were “yes” or “no” on rescinding the mandate. See Related Stories in this edition.
Out of Malden’s 66,000-plus residents, those in the age bracket of 15-19 represent approximately 1,400 of Malden High School’s overall student population. Citywide, that age bracket is about 1,700. There are similar numbers in the age 12-15 age bracket in Malden, citywide, and about 3,000 children ages 5-11 in this city.
Mayor Christenson cited the prevalence of many free COVID-19 vaccination clinics that have been run across the city as contributing to this high vaccination rate, including a number of them that have been held at Malden Public Schools buildings. Also, he noted that thousands of free, take-home COVID-19 test kits have been distributed citywide, including over 3,000 to Malden Public Schools families alone. “In August, when schools were close to opening, we did not have the tools we have now,” Mayor Christenson said.
Prior to Monday night’s vote, the Mayor also said that reports of positive COVID-19 cases are “down 85% since mid-January.” Also, he said, in reference to some remarks made about lifting the mask mandate for the Early Learning Center, “The Health Department has said they [that age group, 5-under] is absolutely not a source of transmission and there have been no reports of outbreaks.”