Boosting Back-to-School Vaccination Efforts
Communicable Disease Prevention
Coalition & Network Building
COVID-19, Vaccine Access & Equity
Susan Watson, MPH
With schools reopening across California, Together Toward Health grantees, local health departments, partners, funders and the TTH team offered support to get students back into classrooms.
In August 2021, TTH local partner Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization along with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, Healthy Lompoc Coalition and other CBO partners hosted a free Vaccinate Lompoc and backpack giveaway day at Lompoc Valley Medical Center (LVMC).
According to Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization Executive Director Ashley Costa, the vaccination rate in Lompoc at the time was about 50%, with just 34% of Santa Barbara County residents ages 12 to 15 fully vaccinated — the lowest rate of all eligible age groups.
At the August event, students from kindergarten through 12th grade were given the opportunity to receive backpacks filled with school supplies. During this event, 245 individuals received vaccinations, including 120 youth under age 18.
We are thankful to our funder, Together Toward Health, for providing resources to our community in the hope we can work together to increase our vaccination rate. This event is an exciting opportunity to welcome children back to school, distribute free supplies and provide information from medical professionals about the vaccine.
Ashley Costa, executive director, Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization
In the joint collaborative effort, Lompoc Health pediatrician Dr. Mohammad Tabek Bakir was onsite at the event to answer any questions from families, and Spanish interpretation was available for community members. Lompoc Unified School District provided transportation to the clinic. The groups distributed approximately 475 school bags, and provided vaccination education to those who did not receive the vaccine.
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