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Only vaccinated Ansonia, Derby elementary students welcome to attend basketball exhibition

Some Ansonia parents feel their unvaccinated kids are being singled out.

ANSONIA, Conn. — There is a bit of a COVID controversy in the Naugatuck Valley over unvaccinated children.

Elementary school students from Ansonia and Derby, who are fully vaccinated by Feb. 3, are invited to attend a Harlem Wizards basketball exhibition on Feb. 6 at the Ansonia Armory. But, unvaccinated students are not welcome.

"I think it’s a tough one," said an Ansonia mother.

Some Ansonia parents feel their unvaccinated kids are being singled out. 

"I understand there is some pushback, and I would not mandate it to people that you have to be vaccinated. That’s a personal preference," said Mayor David Cassetti (D-Ansonia).

RELATED: Completed renovations to the armory in Ansonia revealed

With only 15 percent of Ansonia elementary students fully vaccinated as of last week, Griffin Health, who runs vaccination clinics throughout the state, was looking for an incentive to boost those numbers.

"People who are not vaccinated are running the risk of contracting the virus and also perhaps getting it to change," said Donna Lindgren of Ansonia.

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With regard to children's need to be fully vaccinated, many note that the statistic that really matters is that fewer than one percent of all COVID deaths have been those under the age of 18.

"I know what some people are saying. It’s like, you know, why should it be the limiting factor, but it’s, I guess it’s like the carrot at the end of the stick," said Joseph DiBacco, the Superintendent of Ansonia Public Schools.

VERIFY: No, athletes don’t have to be vaccinated to participate in the 2022 Beijing Olympics

DiBacco added that his schools issue flyers about events happening in the community and let families decide what they participate in.

"It’s not just about you," said Sidra Syed of Ansonia. "I understand you don’t want to get vaccinated, but if you get the virus you could give it to someone else."

Griffin Health did not respond to FOX61's multiple requests for comment as to why they chose to exclude unvaccinated kids.

Tony Terzi is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tterzi@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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