Beutner pushes to utilize schools as covid-19 vaccination centers

As Feb. 1 rounds the corner, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner awaits approval from the State Capitol to use the district’s schools as covid-19 vaccination centers.

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CREDIT: COTTON BRO | PEXELS

With the State Capitol’s approval, LAUSD schools will be used as covid-19 vaccination centers.

With over 1,400 campuses belonging to the district, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner believes using these campuses as vaccination centers is a great start towards accomplishing the overarching goal of students returning to school. Beutner’s aspiration is to safely reopen the district’s schools either before the end of the school year, or by this fall.

“We are the largest school-based provider of covid-19 testing in the neighborhood,” Beutner said in a press release. “It makes sense to compliment that with vaccinations.”

He and his team claim they are well prepared to make this plan a reality.

“We have an information system to schedule the appointments, to make sure the data is reported to the right authorities and to make sure you follow up your appointment,” Beutner said. “We have licensed vaccination clinics already at schools and clinicians licensed to provide the vaccine.”

One of the main concerns surrounding this plan is the significant lack of doses and personnel needed for this system to prove successful. Beutner says the state is in control of the distribution of doses, and that there are 600 school nurses capable of administering the covid-19 vaccine. 

In order to set this plan into motion, Beutner sent a letter to the State Capitol asking for authorization to be able to use the district’s schools as vaccination centers for staff, neighboring residents and eventually students, once a vaccine for children under the age of sixteen has been approved. The Capitol’s reply remains unknown and is expected to be received by Feb. 1.

The staff members of Van Nuys High School are in support of Beutner’s idea, and Principal Yolanda Gardea is more than willing to partake in it.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, our school has been a center for passing out food to students and the community,” Principal Gardea said. “I see no reason why we could not support our school and community in this important endeavor.”