Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner announced on May 24 that the LAUSD has launched a school-based vaccination program for children ages 12 and up. Built on the success of its COVID-19 testing program and existing school-based vaccination sites, Los Angeles Unified will deploy mobile vaccination teams to all middle and high school campuses over the next two weeks.
“Herd immunity won’t be reached in schools or in the broader community until children are vaccinated,” Beutner said. “No other organization has such a deep relationship with children and their families. School principals, teachers and staff are in almost daily contact with their students. This engagement is a critical piece of any vaccination effort. There is no better place to provide vaccinations to children than at their local, neighborhood school.”
More than 80% of students in schools in the LAUSD are from families who are struggling to get by. They live in communities which have been hardest hit by the virus but lack access to health care services. Thirty percent of students in the LAUSD do not see a pediatrician regularly and many already receive other vaccinations at schools.
“We are vaccinating students before this school year ends while teachers, staff and their students are still in schools,” Beutner said. “Because health authorities require a family member to accompany anyone under 16 when they are being vaccinated, Los Angeles Unified will provide paid time off to all staff to be able to help their children. We applaud the Department of Water and Power for doing the same and encourage all employers in the area to do the same. The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Central City Association of Los Angeles and Valley Industry and Commerce Association have joined us in encouraging employers to support this effort.”
“We want to encourage every eligible child to get the COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves, their families and our community,” said Martin L. Adams, general manager and chief engineer of LADWP, the nation’s largest municipal utility. “We hope other major employers will join us in supporting employees in taking steps to get every eligible child vaccinated. Employees shouldn’t have to choose between a couple of hours’ wages and the health and welfare of their child and family.”
Mobile vaccination teams will visit each school on a predetermined schedule over the next two weeks to administer doses of the vaccine to students. Vaccination schedules and locations are available on the Los Angeles Unified website, lausd.net.