Left: Dr. Pia Fenimore, chief of pediatrics, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. Right: Damaris Rau, superintendent, School District of Lancaster.
Left: Dr. Pia Fenimore, chief of pediatrics, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. Right: Damaris Rau, superintendent, School District of Lancaster.

The School District of Lancaster is encouraging students aged 16 to 18 to get their Covid-19 vaccine.

On Tuesday, SDL Superintendent Damaris Rau and Dr. Pia Fenimore, chief of pediatrics at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, sent district families a letter recommending they consider vaccinating their teenage children.

"A Covid-19 vaccine is not required for school attendance," the letter says. "However, the sooner all of our community is vaccinated, the sooner we can return to onsite instruction for all students and enjoy activities like prom and commencement — safely.

"We strongly encourage you to consider this choice for your family's health."

While the J&J and Moderna vaccines are recommended for individuals age 18 and up, the Pfizer vaccine is approved for those as young as 16.

SDL is directing families to the Vaccinate Lancaster community vaccination center at Park City Center mall, which has vaccine appointments reserved for the 16-18 year old age group.

On Tuesday, the center said it had more than 12,000 open appointments available, and urged anyone interested in a vaccine to sign up, regardless of their place in Pennsylvania's phased vaccination rollout plan.

Tim Stuhldreher