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Los Angeles Unified and Health Net Will Offer Free Vaccinations for Seasonal Flu to Students and Families (10-16-20)

CONTACT:                                                                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shannon Haber, LAUSD, 213-393-1289                    October 16, 2020

Los Angeles Unified and Health Net Will Offer
Free Vaccinations for Seasonal Flu to Students and Families


Health Authorities Concerned About a 'Twin-demic'
 As Seasonal Flu Arrives During COVID-19 Crisis


LOS ANGELES – OCTOBER 16, 2020 – Los Angeles Unified today announced that Health Net, which is helping the district in its nation-leading COVID-19 testing and community engagement program, will be offering free vaccinations for the seasonal flu to students and their family members at various schools across the district.

“We are working to protect the health and safety of all in the school community,” Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “Vaccinations for the seasonal flu are even more important while the threat from COVID-19 remains so very real in the communities we serve.”

“At Health Net, we believe every person deserves a safety net for their health, regardless of age, income, employment status or current state of health,” said Brian Ternan, President and CEO of Health Net of California and California Health and Wellness. “That’s why we’re working side by side with the Los Angeles Unified School District to ensure hundreds of families across Los Angeles County have a safe and easy way to get their flu shots. Together, we can help prevent what many experts are calling a ‘twin-demic,’ as both the COVID-19 pandemic and flu season begin to overlap.”

“This year, more than any other, people might have to take extra precautions during flu season,” Health Net Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alex Chen said. “Typically it is recommended that everyone over 6 months of age get the vaccine, but this year medical experts across the county are urging everyone to get the shot in hopes of helping avoiding a ‘twin-demic’ situation with COVID-19. We want to encourage all essential workers, adults age 65 and older, and infants and young children to get their flu shots as soon as possible. Thanks to the support of Los Angeles Unified, we are pleased to provide families a quick and easy way to get their shots to ensure they stay safe and healthy during the critical months of the flu season.”

“The flu vaccine reduces your chance of becoming infected with a virus that can cause severe illness and, at times, even death,” said Dr. Annabelle de St. Maurice, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. “The flu vaccine is safe and helps protect not just you, but the loved ones around you and even the strangers you may encounter at grocery stores and other public places you visit. It is more important than ever to get the flu vaccine as we continue fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Adding widespread flu infections will only make that fight more difficult.”

“With the ongoing pandemic, it is crucial that everyone who can receive the flu vaccine does so,” said Dr. Jason Fischer, medical director of the Providence Holy Cross Medical Center emergency department. “Vaccination is important to your own immune system to reduce the risk of the seasonal flu and to minimize the likelihood of transmission of flu to others. This is especially true now with the risk of simultaneously contracting both flu and COVID-19. Everyone from 6 months on should be vaccinated unless they are at risk of severe complications or are ill at the time. Those with questions should call their physician.”

More information can be found on or by calling the Helpdesk at (213) 443-1300.

Board of Education members support the effort to vaccinate the school community against seasonal flu.

“Health Net has really proven the power of partnership,” Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic said. “We are proud to collaborate with them to provide flu shot sites to our students and their families. Our students’ health and safety is the highest priority. “

“As the seasons change, it is important to be extra careful that we are doing all we can to take care of ourselves and our families,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said. “A flu shot can help reduce the risk of illness for many, and increased access without cost may be life-saving.” 

"For so many of our students and families, Los Angeles Unified is providing the basic necessities during this challenging time," Board Member Mónica García said. "As we continue navigating through each new step of this pandemic, we look for ways to serve every need. The flu vaccine is more important than ever, and we thank our partners at Health Net for making it accessible to everyone and helping our families most in need."

“I am thankful to Health Net for supporting the district’s efforts to mitigate and reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said. “Now more than ever, our families will greatly benefit from receiving free flu shots. We must continue to do all we can to protect our students and families and ensure the health and safety of everyone as we continue to prepare for a return to school in a hybrid model.”

“Thank you to Health Net for partnering with us to expand access to the flu vaccine for our students, families and employees during an especially critical flu season,” Board Member Nick Melvoin said. “We are grateful for the support and collaboration to ensure the health and safety of our school communities.” 

“A flu shot protects not just the person getting the vaccine, but also the people around them – babies, older people and those with health issues – and it’s the responsible thing to do,” Board Member Jackie Goldberg said. “We’re grateful to Health Net for allowing our students and families to be protected and responsible.”

"Every year, the flu shot helps protect our communities,” Board Member Kelly Gonez said. “This year, it's more important than ever so we're making it easier than ever. Families in Board District 6 can visit San Fernando Middle School on Friday to get their free flu vaccine."