Superintendent Beutner pushes for LAUSD schools to become COVID-19 vaccination sites

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The head of the Los Angeles Unified School District says one way to get students back in class faster would be turn schools into vaccination centers.

On Monday, Superintendent Austin Beutner sent a letter to state and county public health officials asking for authorization to provide COVID-19 vaccinations at schools for staff, local community members and for students once a vaccine for children has been approved.

LAUSD is asking the state for permission to use it's more than 1,400 campuses to be used as vaccination centers.

Beutner says the district already has the infrastructure in place to do this.

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"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."

The superintendent says the schools can supplement what's already been established. One of the concerns with the rollout is that there isn't enough doses and personnel to meet the demand.

Beutner says the doses are up to the state to distribute, and as far as personnel is concerned, they're already in place, including 600 school nurses capable of providing the vaccine.

The superintendent sent a letter to the state Capitol asking to be able to use the schools to vaccinate teachers, students and neighborhood residents. He's hoping to get approval by Feb. 1.

"We are the largest school-based provider of COVID testing in the neighborhood," Beutner said. "It makes sense to compliment that with vaccinations."

The hope is to safely welcome back students and faculty back in the classroom before the end of the school year or by this fall.

L.A. County plans to open five mass vaccination site on Tuesday. Dodger Stadium opened as a vaccination site Friday.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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