RPS first school district in the state to release district-wide vaccination rates

[anvplayer video=”5058196″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – Tuesday night at the Rochester school board meeting Interim Superintendent Kent Pekel released data on the COVID-19 vaccination status of Rochester Public Schools.

The Rochester School District is the first in the state to release this data from the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC).

As for students who are eligible to be vaccinated, 58 percent of them have had one dose and 53 percent have had two doses. However, the school with the lowest vaccination rate in the district is 39 percent so Pekel says there is still progress to be made in getting students who are eligible vaccinated,

"The reason that we felt this data was so important is that making decisions based upon not the perceived or assumed vaccine status of our students and our staff, but the actual, or as close to actual, data that we can get is really critical in having a smart strategy going forward," Pekel said.

Information was also collected on staff vaccination rates for the district. 90 percent of RPS staff have received one dose and 88 percent have received two doses.

Those rates in RPS staff are higher than Olmsted County’s overall vaccination rates with just over 80 percent of people in the county being fully vaccinated.

Just this week, Rochester Public Schools is reporting a spike in COVID-19 cases among their youngest demographic, Pre-K through fifth grade. 92 new cases have been reported in the district and because of the rise in cases, more than 650 people have had to quarantine.

Those students are in the age group you cannot be vaccinated yet, but Pekel says he is encouraged by Pfizer’s recent announcement saying the vaccine is safe in kids five through 11 years old.