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The Los Angeles Unified School District is planning to open a new COVID-19 vaccine super site at SoFi Stadium that would serve as a vaccination point for all teachers in L.A. County. Kara Finnstrom reports.
- Well, back here at home as LAUSD is cleared to reopen schools, an effort is underway to get as many teachers and staff vaccinated before letting students back on campus. KCAL9's Kara Finnstrom spells out superintendent Austin Beutner's plan for a school-based mega website at SoFi Stadium.
KARA FINNSTROM: We are at what LA Unified hopes will be just the first of numerous vaccination sites based at schools. And this morning the new headline here, the district hopes to launch a new mega vaccination site just for teachers and school staff at SoFi Stadium in Hollywood Park. It would have the capacity to vaccinate up to 10,000 people a day.
AUSTIN BEUTNER: We'll have the capacity at Hollywood Park to do everybody quite quickly. Whether that number of doses come or not, we do not yet know. We have reached out directly to the county, to the state, and to federal authorities. We don't care where it comes from. When it comes, we're going to administer it as quickly as possible.
KARA FINNSTROM: That proposed site still needs final county approval. It would serve any public or private school locally that wants to participate and would be run in collaboration with the LA Rams, Hollywood Park, and city of Inglewood. The big question, clearly, whether LAUSD can get the needed vaccine doses. It was allotted 2,000 total this week as it got this site up and running. The district's growing vaccination push follows LA County's announcement yesterday that the district has the all-clear to start reopening elementary schools for in-person learning because of dropping virus transmission rates and their COVID-19 safety plan.
LAUSD and its teachers union immediately responded, they want all teachers vaccinated before making that move. UTLA leaders also want the county out of the purple tier. We spoke with one teacher relieved to be getting her vaccine today.
ABIGAIL ABBOT: I'm in a middle school. And I have sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. And I think that there's a great deal of risk because, remember, children can be very asymptomatic carriers. And that's-- that's not good if you're the adult in the room.
KARA FINNSTROM: This is a look at the La Cañada school district, one of the LA County districts that started welcoming back students yesterday once those county transmission rates dropped. Beutner stressed there is no comparison between small, affluent districts with very low transmission rates and LAUSD, which has 85% of its students living in poverty in areas with some of the highest transmission rates.
So a lot of families, obviously, very concerned about the economic and emotional toll of students as they continue to learn outside of the classroom. The only timeline Beutner could give today was that if he could get 25,000 vaccine doses for teachers, he says LAUSD classrooms could open within 50 days. Kara Finnstrom, KCAL9 News.