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Superintendent Austin Beutner Launches School-Based Vaccination Program for Children 12 and Up (05-24-21)

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Shannon Haber, 213-393-1289                              May 24, 2021

Superintendent Austin Beutner Launches School-Based Vaccination Program for Children 12 and Up

  • Department of Water and Power Answers Beutner’s Call to Provide Employees Paid Time Off to Help Get Their Children Vaccinated and Supports Food Relief Effort with Food Trucks at Student Vaccination Clinics
  • Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Central City Association of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Business Council and Valley Industry and Commerce Association Encourage Employers to Support Vaccination Effort

LOS ANGELES (May 24, 2021) –
Superintendent Austin Beutner announced today that Los Angeles Unified 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,” said Superintendent Beutner. “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 Los Angeles Unified 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 healthcare services. 30% of students in Los Angeles Unified 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,” continued Superintendent Beutner. “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, Los Angeles Business Council 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."

“The Chamber is committed to getting kids safely back in school to restore a sense of normalcy to our everyday lives, ensuring that parents have accessible, enriching options for their children as the economy restarts and we return to in-person work,” said Maria Salinas, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. “Now that youth in the 12-17 age group are eligible to be vaccinated if accompanied by a parent or guardian, the Chamber is urging businesses to make scheduling accommodations that incentivize youth vaccinations without a loss of benefits for employees.”

“Resuming in-person learning is core to a robust social and economic recovery in Los Angeles. We recognize the employers including Los Angeles Unified that are creating flexibility for parents to accompany their children to vaccine sites so that students and staff can make a complete, safe return to schools,” said Jessica Lall, President and Chief Executive of the Central City Assn. of Los Angeles. “We encourage organizations to support their employees in helping their children access vaccines.” 

“Businesses are returning, but parents and guardians must have access to vaccine sites to facilitate safe schools and classrooms as they return to in person work environments,” said Stuart Waldman, President of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association. “Los Angeles Unified is offering all staff and faculty paid time off as an additional benefit to promote vaccine expansion for eligible youth. VICA encourages member organizations to follow the district's lead in providing employees time off to get their kids vaccinated which will increase vaccination rates in the greater San Fernando Valley region and beyond.”

“It has become clear that a key component of our recovery is ensuring that our families have safe access to teachers and classrooms,” said Los Angeles Business Council President Mary Leslie. “LABC is calling for business leaders to act quickly on the opportunity to contribute to safe schools by providing hard-working Angelenos with supplementary paid time off to accompany eligible family members to vaccine sites.”

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.