Burbank Unified Hosts Youth Vaccination Clinics In June and July; Partnership Between Schools And Fire Department Lauded

A Burbank paramedic fills a syringe with Moderna vaccine to be dispensed at a Burbank pop-up clinic held for Burbank Unified teachers and staff along with Burbank Police Department personnel in March 2021. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

The Burbank Unified School District will hold coronavirus vaccination clinics for youth ages 12 and up in June and July at Luther Burbank Middle School and Burbank High School, Superintendent Matt Hill said at the annual joint Burbank City Council and Burbank Board of Education meeting held on Tuesday, June 8. City and school officials also praised the partnership between BUSD and the Burbank Fire Department which resulted in vaccine clinics for City and school personnel earlier this year.

“We’ve had a strategic partnership with Burbank Unified School District,” City Emergency Management Coordinator Eric Baumgardner commented, also noting the pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic partnership between Burbank Fire Department and Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital. “If it was not for this strategic partnership, we wouldn’t have been as successful as we were in vaccinating our City employees as well as District personnel.”

“In December 2020, the Burbank Fire Department (BFD) began administering the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines to its own personnel. As staff planned to expand its vaccination efforts, BFD began coordinating with Burbank Unified School District (BUSD),” Baumgardner explained in his official report to the Council and Board. “On March 2, 2021, the City Council approved that the City Manager will be authorized to sign an agreement with BUSD including indemnitee provisions to facilitate the BFD Vaccine Program for City of Burbank and BUSD employees approved as to form by the City Attorney and any necessary ancillary agreements to implement the Vaccine Program.”

In early 2021, BFD successfully coordinated with BUSD on a Vaccine Program for City and BUSD personnel. BFD’s temporary expanded scope allowed staff, along with BUSD nursing staff, to administer the Moderna (two-shot) vaccine to essential City and BUSD personnel at fixed locations to the designated recipients. The joint BUSD/BFD vaccine clinics were a significant accomplishment that required extensive planning and collaboration.”

MyBurbank covered the March vaccination clinic that made the shots available to Burbank Police staff and BUSD teachers and staff.

Baumgardner noted the efforts of Hill, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Debbie Kukta, Director of Student Services Stacy Cashman and John Burroughs High School Head Nurse Leonora Aguilera, who were “instrumental personnel who helped in the planning for the… vaccination clinics” which were held in March and most of April. He also noted all the District’s nursing staff and many of their support staff were involved in planning and holding the clinics.

Burbank Unified initially discussed partnering with Burbank Fire for the youth vaccination clinics to be held this summer, but has ultimately joined up with Los Angeles County Public Health for administering the shots.

“After the Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to youth age 12 years and older, BUSD contacted BFD in mid-May about assisting with the coordination of possible vaccine clinics at certain BUSD campuses. BFD reached out to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center to coordinate planning meetings for these potential clinics,” said Baumgardner. “Concurrent to this outreach, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) contacted BUSD about clinics for students. Planning between BUSD and LACDPH for these clinics became the primary plan while partnering with Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and BFD became a secondary contingency plan.”

Image Courtesy Burbank Unified School District

“In 2021, BUSD and LACDPH will have clinics on June 15 (first dose) and July 6 (second dose) at Luther Burbank Middle School as well as June 17 (first dose) and July 8 (second dose) at Burbank High School,” Baumgardner said in the report. “LACDPH will be providing the resources and personnel for the clinics that will administer the vaccine to students 12 years and older. BUSD distributed clinic information to parents. Parents can visit VaccinateLACounty.com to find other locations offering the Pfizer vaccine to persons 12 years and older.”

“These clinics will be instrumental in bringing the vaccine to a younger population at this time,” he also said.

“It was truly a moment in time that we made history,” Hill said about the BUSD and BFD partnership. “Where we came together and leveraged our resources to get City employees and District employees vaccinated. We saw how powerful that’s been with the drop in Covid cases.”

“For our students, we’re making it easy to get your vaccines,” he continued. “We have clinics we have emailed out to all families… so you can go to school sites to get vaccinated. We want to make sure everyone that is eligible can get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

“Our nurses were our heroines,” commented Cashman, who also expressed grattitude for the vital work of Aguilera and the partnership with BFD.

Stacy Cashman, Burbank Unified Director of Student Services, and Britney Alton, R.N., Burbank Fire Department Nurse Educator, check in Burbank Unified teachers and staff and Burbank Police personnel to be vaccinated. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

“This was an incredible partnership and incredibly necessary at the time,” Board of Education President Steven Frintner commented. “We’ve seen the results, we’ve seen the drop in cases. And we’ve seen the ability for our institutions to start reopening again.”

“This is a great example of the City and the school district working together for the benefit of our families and our students,” said Councilmember Nick Schultz, who wondered if similar clinics may be held for younger children, if and when approval is given for vaccinations for children six months to 11 years of age.

“It would be the same example that we are doing with ages 12 and up,” answered Hill. “We’ve partnered with Los Angeles County Public Health. They can do clinics on our school sites as well as push out information where families can get the vaccine. When they approve lower ages, we’ll do the same type of partnership and be able to share that information and, hopefully, set up additional clinics.”

The video and agenda for the June 8 joint Burbank City Council and Burbank Board of Education meeting can be viewed online here.