NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County is looking into why teachers and staff at several schools and daycare centers in the San Fernando Valley were offered COVID-19 vaccines before they were eligible.
Educators younger than 65 are not yet eligible to receive the shots.
Dignity Health's Northridge Hospital Medical Center reached out to a number of schools and daycares in the valley recently to let them know there were additional supplies of vaccine available.
Among the schools taking them up on the offer was the Wesley School, a private campus in North Hollywood. The school confirmed the hospital notified them that the vaccine was available and some teachers scheduled appointments and got their first shots.
Los Angeles Unified School District apparently did not, with the district saying it first checked with the county to see if the Northridge hospital "was operating under a different set of rules."
"The County confirmed that currently vaccines are only available for healthcare workers and those over 65 and thanked us for following proper procedures," the district said. "The County is looking into this issue."
The hospital released a statement explaining its actions:
"Recently, we had vaccines available and reached out to schools and daycare centers in the Valley to offer vaccinations to educators, targeting those 65 and older. This was a good faith effort to direct all of our available doses to essential workers and the elderly in our community as quickly as possible, and we are working closely with the county to ensure vaccines are distributed according to the county's prioritization guidelines. We will continue to work with our state and county health officials to accelerate vaccine distribution through community events and our health care clinics.
The Wesley School also released a statement, arguing that vaccinating teachers is an important key to allowing schools to bring students back on campus:
"We firmly believe that vaccinating educators is critical to returning students to in-person learning. We were therefore grateful to be contacted by a local hospital in January indicating that it was creating a list of teachers and other essential workers who wished to be vaccinated when the vaccine became available. When the hospital notified us that vaccine was available, some of our teachers scheduled appointments and received the first dose of the vaccine. We strongly urge public health officials to prioritize vaccination for all educators."
It is unclear yet if any of the parties involved will face any penalties. A hospital in Northern California had its vaccine supply stripped after it gave doses to teachers before they were allowed.
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