How did teachers at private schools end up with extra doses of vaccines?
It begins with extra doses that Northridge Hospital says they had, and offered to San Francisco-area schools in January, including LAUSD, which turned them down.
So, the 100 or so doses went to teachers at Wesley, a K through 8th grade North Hollywood school that charges somewhere between $28,000 and $32,000 a year.
LAUSD said in the statement that they had to check with LA County Public Health. Dr. Barbara Ferrer, in a call on Tuesday, explained to school officials that teachers would probably not be able to get vaccines for at least a week or two.
They turned the vaccines down, releasing a statement saying:
"We sought clarification from the Los Angeles County Health Department as to whether vaccine doses are only available to teachers over the age of 65, consistent with current guidelines, or if Northridge Hospital was operating under a different set of rules that would allow any teacher to be vaccinated regardless of age. The County confirmed that currently vaccines are only available for healthcare workers and those over 65 and thanked us for following proper procedures. The County is looking into this issue."
Usually, when an organization, like a hospital or clinic, have extra doses, they are supposed to check in with the Health Department for their location to see where they are needed. No word on whether Northridge did that.
A statement issued by Dignity Health reads in-part:
"At Northridge Hospital Medical Center, it is our priority to administer COVID-19 vaccines as quickly and safely as possible. We initially vaccinated our frontline healthcare workers and then moved to vaccinate those in the community 65 and older. To date, Dignity Health has vaccinated tens of thousands of people. 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. We will continue to work with our state and county health officials to accelerate vaccine distribution through community events and our health care clinics. We look forward to the day when everyone will have the opportunity to receive a vaccine as supplies increase."
Complicating the issue further, FOX 11 has learned that the CFO at Northridge Hospital has a child who attends Wesley. Inquiries about that went unanswered by Dignity Health and Wesley, which issued its own statement:
"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.
In our piece, we interview a woman who is both a parent and advocates for African American parents at LAUSD.
She explains that a lot of grandparents, 65 years and older, are actually taking care of their grandkids, who can not go to school. They are having a hard time getting vaccines themselves, and so are the teachers that would help get the children back into schools. "I can’t speak to why LAUSD would do what they did" she says, but she asks, where is the fairness, the oversight, or just common sense.
What we are hearing from other LAUSD parents, is so angry, it’s not printable. LA County Health supposedly investigating the whole incident."