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LA’s First School-Based Vaccination Site Will Open This Week

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Five doses of COVID-19 vaccine is held by SPC Angel Laureano at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on December 14, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Pool / AFP)
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The Los Angeles Unified School District’s first school-based vaccination center will open this Wednesday.

Doses will be offered to school staff aged 65 and older, and employees who are currently working at COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites. Employees will be contacted to make an appointment.

LAUSD superintendent Austin Beutner said in his weekly address on Monday that the district is working to open as many school-based sites as possible, and that Anthem, Cedars Sinai, and Microsoft are helping in the effort.

“Los Angeles Unified’s vaccination efforts will use a technology and data system built with the support of Microsoft,” he said, “which includes registration and scheduling, tracking of vaccines and stock, contact-less appointment check in, and data capture at the time of appointment.”

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The new vaccine center will be at Roybal Learning Center, near downtown L.A. A spokesperson for the district was not able to provide information about the number of doses that would be available.

Beutner has been emphatic about his desire to use LAUSD sites as vaccination locations, and his wish to vaccinate school employees as soon as possible.

In January, he noted how prevalent the district’s schools are in communities across the county, in contrast to other locations currently being used as vaccination sites.

“There are an average of two Los Angeles Unified schools every square mile — within an easy walk, bike ride or drive for millions of people from San Fernando to San Pedro,” Beutner said at the time. “Unlike a stadium parking lot, school campuses are built to care for large numbers of people.”

More recently, he pointed out that vaccinating 25,000 employees would allow elementary schools to reopen. That step, Beutner added, would also allow the families of those children to get back to work — or to no longer need to work with their children screaming in the background.