EducationHealthcareLocal NewsNorth Texas Schools Facilitate Student Vaccines While Concerned Citizens Protest

Large North Texas school districts are facilitating student vaccines meanwhile doctors, officials, and citizens express their hesitance.
May 18, 2021
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Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded its authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to persons ages 12 to 15 on May 10, some of the largest school districts in North Texas have begun holding vaccine clinics for their students and families. 

Arlington ISD, Dallas ISD, and Fort Worth ISD have either planned clinics or transportation of students to vaccine clinics, but not everyone condones this move.

Arlington ISD, a district of nearly 60,000 students, hosted a vaccine clinic on Monday, May 17 in conjunction with the Arlington Fire Department. The clinic was hosted at the district’s athletics center. 

Transportation on school buses was offered by AISD. A letter to district families informing them of the clinic included a link to the Pfizer vaccine fact sheet

According to Pfizer’s own vaccine fact sheet, “The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is an unapproved vaccine that may prevent COVID-19. There is no FDA-approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19.”

The Texan Tumbler

Kelly Burke, a recent mayoral candidate and resident of Arlington, helped organize a protest with the Arlington Texas Patriot Train. 

“We are standing against COVID shots for youth,” Burke told The Texan, “because there is no clear research for giving these vaccines to children and there have been very few deaths of children under 18 from COVID-19.”

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard, 52 persons under the age of 19 have died in the state from COVID-19 during the pandemic. Texas has had approximately 2.5 million cases since last March. 

Between 40 and 50 people protested throughout the day, said Burke, holding signs at the entrance to the AISD Athletic Center where the clinic was held. He said the Arlington police would not let them inside the building to talk to those attending about their concerns.

Burke said that he opposes the vaccine for students generally, but he also opposes the use of taxpayer dollars for transportation to the vaccine facility. 

Neither AISD nor Arlington Fire Department replied to requests for comment.

On Monday, Dallas ISD transported about 40 students, age 16 and over, to a vaccine clinic at Ellis Davis Field House or Fair Park, according to a report by WFAA. Dallas ISD high schools that opted into the vaccine clinic sent permission slips home with eligible students. 

Dallas ISD did not return The Texan’s request for comment.

Fort Worth ISD is planning vaccine clinics around the district at 15 high schools beginning on Wednesday, May 19. 

The district is partnering with Perrone Pharmacy, which is providing 180 doses to each campus. Each clinic is held from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. according to FWISD and is open to students age 12 and older and their parents. 

The COVID-19 vaccines are all being administered under an Emergency Use Authorization, which allows use under certain conditions, including “that there are no adequate, approved, available alternatives.”

However, some practicing physicians in the state have pointed out that there are effective early treatment options for the virus.

Dr. Peter McCullough, a respected cardiologist in Dallas, has developed an early outpatient treatment protocol published in the American Journal of Medicine using hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin, an antibiotic like azithromycin, and oral steroids as needed. He and his elderly father successfully recovered from COVID-19 last year using this protocol. 

Dr. Richard Bartlett, an emergency medicine physician in West Texas who served under Governor Rick Perry on the Texas Health Disparities Task Force for seven years, received a Meritorious Service Award from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, testified recently before the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee to the usefulness of inhaled budesonide as an early effective treatment for COVID-19. He has used it to help treat patients suffering from the illness. 

A study from the University of Oxford published in February demonstrated the usefulness of inhaled budesonide in treating COVD-19, Bartlett noted. The study found that 800 mcg of budesonide “reduced the relative risk of requiring urgent care or hospitalisation by 90 percent.”

Bartlett’s testimony came when the committee was considering Senate Bill (SB) 1669, authored by Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood), which would prohibit discrimination by either public or private entities against Texas residents based on their vaccine status and would prohibit forced vaccinations. The bill was left pending in the committee. 

Hall pointed out during the hearing that from December 2020 until April 2021, there have been over 3,000 deaths reported on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in conjunction with the COVID-19 vaccine. These are more deaths than all the vaccine deaths reported from 1997 to 2013, he added.

Jose Trasancos, CEO and president of Children of God for Life, a pro-life organization advocating for ethical biomedical research, has both practical and ethical concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines. 

“The risk is negligible for the young,” Trasancos said in an interview with The Texan. He said that the historical view in epidemiology has been to vaccinate those at risk but not those with low risk so that society can develop herd immunity. 

Additionally, the long-term risks are unknown for a technology that has no long-term use history, so he cautions against exposing young people to unknown risks when they have a lifetime ahead of them.

Ethically, Trasancos noted that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were developed and tested using aborted fetal cell lines. “In September 2020, researchers explained that they used HEK293…in a test to make sure the vaccine works as it should,” the Children of God for Life website notes. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine was grown using aborted fetal cells, he pointed out.

Four companies are developing vaccines that do not use human aborted fetal cells: COVAXIN, Kentucky BioProcessing, and Medicago. Kentucky BioProcessing and Medicago both use plant-based technology. COVAXIN uses bovine fetal cells.

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Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.