Middle school students in Palo Alto and across the country are now eligible for the COVID-19 booster shot, following a Jan. 5 expansion of booster eligibility by the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention to include 12-to 15-year-olds.

The announcement came with a rise in concern for the health of middle schoolers — and their role in potentially spreading infections — with the recent discovery of the Omicron variant. The CDC’s press release stated that the booster shot will offer greater protection against this variant. 

The coronavirus and its emerging variants have disrupted school for students like Greene Middle School eighth-grader Aryav Singh. 

“It [coronavirus] causes interruptions in our learning because if a teacher gets it then that disrupts our learning as we will get a sub, which won’t be as good as our actual teacher teaching,” Singh said. “If many students start to get it then our families could be at risk.”

Singh expects that the introduction of the COVID-19 booster shot to younger demographics will help curb the spread of the coronavirus in schools. 

“Students getting the booster will ease worry amongst the community and in schools,” Singh said. “I’m hoping that students getting the booster will mean schools won’t have to go online.”


“It [coronavirus] causes interruptions in our learning because if a teacher gets it then that disrupts our learning as we will get a sub, which won’t be as good as our actual teacher teaching. If many students start to get it then our families could be at risk.”

— Aryav Singh, eighth grader


Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School teacher James Meininger also sees this hope in parents and students.  

“I had so many parents and kids who wanted this booster shot,” Meininger said. “You wouldn’t think kids would be excited about getting a shot in their arm, but they were really excited for that extra boost.”

Meininger said he hopes the increased protection provided by the booster shot will reduce the chances of a return to distance learning.  

“I think the booster will give an added comfort level and we’ll be able to relax a little more and feel better about sending kids back to school,” Meininger said. “Kids really do need to be in school, and the booster will allow everyone back and provide some sort of normalcy.”