Family Hub

School-based testing through Learn to Return is voluntary, free, painless, and private. 

Schedule you vaccine or booster

Contact your doctor’s office or local pharmacy to make an appointment or use the Washington State Department of Health vaccine locator to schedule your vaccines and boosters.

Do I really need a booster?

Yes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), booster shots are 90% effective against hospitalization due to omicron infection and also reduce the likelihood of an emergency room or urgent care visit. A separate CDC study indicates that unvaccinated people are 23 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who have been fully vaccinated and received a booster shot.

Read our latest newsletter

The L2R Newsletter has the latest updates on COVID-19, testing, and vaccines curated for L2R school districts.

Vaccine and Booster Eligibility by Age

Ages 4 and under
  • This age group is not yet eligible for any vaccine or booster.
  • EUA approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children 6 months old to 4 months old may be available by spring 2022
  • Children between the ages of 2 and 4 should continue to wear a mask in public settings.
Ages 5 to 11
  • This age group is eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is administered as a two-dose primary series, 3 weeks apart. It is a lower dose (10 micrograms) compared to the Pfizer vaccine given to people 12 and older (which is 30 micrograms).
  • Immunocompromised children in this age group are eligible for an additional primary shot (“booster”) at least 28 days after their second dose of vaccine. 
  • Children 5 through 11 who are fully vaccinated and are not immunosuppressed are not authorized for a booster at this time.
  • Children 5 through 11 years old will receive a separate vaccine formulation denoted with an orange cap of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will receive the vaccine with a smaller needle.
Ages 12 to 17
  • This age group can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech adult COVID-19 vaccine series (30 mcg dose).
  • Adolescents 12 through 17 who have certain medical conditions associated with immunosuppression can receive an additional primary dose at least 28 days after their second dose.
  • All adolescents can receive a Pfizer-BioNTech booster five months after their second dose.
  • At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents 12 through 17.
Ages 18 and up
  • All adults 18 and older are eligible for all approved vaccines. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have received full approval from the FDA.
  • All adults 18 and older are eligible for a booster 5 months after their second dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna) or after their first and only dose of the J&J vaccine.
  • The CDC recommends that everyone 12 years old and above receive a third dose of mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna booster) and recipients of the one-dose J&J vaccine receive a second dose, preferably of an mRNA vaccine.
  • Vaccines are the best protection against severe illness caused by omicron and other variants. Boosters increase protection against infection from all known variants, including omicron, and greatly decrease the likelihood of severe disease if infected.

Vaccines and Boosters work

Vaccines and boosters protect against severe disease caused by COVID-19 including the omicron variant.

Common questions

Is testing free?

Yes, testing is free. There is no out-of-pocket cost or co-pay for schools or families. The Washington State Department of Health covers costs for school-based diagnostic and screening tests and funding continues through July 2022.

Have insurance? Great. Your provider will be billed directly with no cost to you.

No insurance? No problem. Just provide a valid government-issued ID and you’re good to go.

If you do not provide insurance or a government I.D., you can still get tested at no charge! The Washington Department of Health will cover the cost.

How is my child’s privacy protected?

With regards to patient privacy, it’s no different than getting tested at your doctor’s office. 

All health information for the participant is kept private and is protected under federal HIPAA regulations (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

The school district point of contact (likely the superintendent) will be alerted if there is a positive test result and will initiate contact tracing and outbreak mitigation procedures.

How are samples collected?

Sample collection is quick & painless.

All tests available through Learn to Return use a shallow nasal swab to collect samples from participating students and staff.

This is not the dreaded “brain tickler” or nasopharyngeal swab. The shallow nasal swab enters to gentle resistance, about half-an-inch into each nostril, makes several rotations, and is placed, swab-side down, in the collection tube.

Why is testing important?

Testing serves as an early warning system to stop outbreaks from spreading in schools.

Testing programs are critical for identifying cases of COVID-19 in our schools, preventing the spread of the disease, and keeping students, teachers, and other staff in school.

We believe that safe, full-time, in-person learning is a top priority for our communities – it’s better for students, it’s better for teachers, and it helps parents and caregivers get back to work.

What about vaccines?

Vaccines and boosters provide protection against severe disease caused by COVID-19, but breakthrough infections can occur, especially with highly contagious variants like omicron. The pediatric vaccine and booster were approved in late 2021 and early 2022 respectively.

It is unlikely that a large portion of school-aged children will be fully vaccinated and boosted before the end of the 2021-2022 school year and into the following year. The unprecedented rates of infections caused by omicron has made it very clear that testing and other mitigating safety strategies are essential to maintaining a safe school environment and preventing outbreaks.

Through a combination of safety measures, including testing and increased vaccinations, Washington schools can minimize transmission of the disease and help Washington communities get back to school and back to life.

Get free at-home COVID-19 tests

Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. Order your tests now so you have them when you need them.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children 5-11