By City News Service and the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol
Appointments can now be scheduled for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) introduced school-based vaccine clinics to vaccinate any eligible students and employees against COVID-19.
Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly announced the launch on Tuesday, Aug. 24, saying mobile vaccination teams will visit every LAUSD middle and high school campus — including in the San Fernando Valley — to deliver first and second doses, starting Aug. 30.
“Vaccines are a game-changer for all of us,” Reilly said. “They help reduce the chances of getting considerably sick and dying from the virus.
“We can and will protect our school communities by continuing to vaccinate employees and every eligible student.”
Appointments can be made through the LAUSD’s “Daily Pass” app. To make an appointment, or for information on when a vaccine team will visit a particular school, visit: https://achieve.lausd.net/covid or call (213)-328-3958.
Students age 12 and older are eligible.
Reilly said students age 12 to 15 must bring an adult with them when they receive the vaccine, while students 16 and older may bring an adult with them or bring a signed consent form.
“The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to protect our students, staff and families,” said school board President Kelly Gonez, whose district includes Arleta, Mission Hills, San Fernando, Sun Valley and Van Nuys.
“Our communities trust our public schools, so they are natural sites for our students and families to receive this life-saving vaccine. I encourage everyone who is eligible to get their shot as part of this effort.”
The school-based vaccine program is one of several strategies the LAUSD has implemented as in-person learning has resumed amid a surge in COVID-19 countywide, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus.
Pediatrician Points to Recent Surge of Cases
Others have been warned that — with schools and business reopening — more is needed to be done to contain the spread of the Delta variant, and that current vaccines could lessen in efficacy over time. Pediatrician Dr. Ruth Carleton Lindo, in a recent commentary saying the battle against this latest epidemic “has just begun,” cited LA County Health Department data in pointing out that between from the beginning of June until the end of July, there had been “a 900% increase in cases of COVID-19 among children and schoolteachers,” and that pediatric hospitalizations were soaring on a national level.
“Development of new longer lasting vaccines which are more effective against variant strains should be a top priority. In the meantime, every single dose of vaccine which we have available should go into an arm, and not a single one should be wasted,” Lindo wrote.
To combat the Delta variant, the district is employing daily health checks for everyone going onto campuses; masking; comprehensive COVID testing, contact tracing and isolation of cases; making hand sanitizer available; and increasing sanitization and cleaning of schools.
In addition, there is a vaccine requirement for all LA Unified employees. The district requires weekly COVID testing for students and employees, regardless of their vaccination status. All district employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15.
The health screenings led to long lines of students at some schools on the first day of classes last week due to the high volume of students and parents trying to access the Daily Pass app the district is using to verify tests. The app generates a code that can be scanned as students enter campus.
District officials told the LAUSD Board of Education Tuesday that 3,000 students had tested positive for the virus prior to the start of the school year or during the first week of classes, which began Aug. 16.
Another 3,500 were quarantined due to possible exposure to the virus.