Vaccines Eligibility Increases While L.A. Schools Reopen

SAM LUO (Web Editor), DONALD DUONG (Staff Writer)

The COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in most cities within the U.S. for many workers, residents and eligible students. According to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and its teachers’ union have come to a tentative agreement of restoring in-person learning by reopening schools around mid-April, with students following CDC-sanctioned guidelines and social distancing. The Alhambra Unified School District is also working on a reopening plan.

After the consensus, elementary schools and high-need students—those with disabilities, living in poverty or in need of special aid—will be going back in roughly five weeks to allow time for returning faculty to get fully vaccinated, according to LAUSD officials. As middle and high school teachers start being vaccinated, their students will consequently phase into resuming in-person learning. 

During this month, the state of California has begun to expand vaccine access to its teachers and food and agricultural workers, according to CBS. Gov. Newsom has offered 10% of the new vaccine doses for the teaching force and 40,000 additional doses for LAUSD employees. Most of Alhambra’s teachers and employees got their first shot of the Moderna vaccine on March 2.

”There’s nothing more foundational to an equitable society than getting our kids safely back into classrooms,” Newsom said. 

Teaching personnel aside, Californians ages 18 and over (depending on the location) have recently gained a new opportunity to become eligible for a vaccine, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Californians now have access to MyTurnVolunteer, a new volunteering campaign. 

“MyTurnVolunteer is a great way to give back to the community,” junior Ashlynn Kyaw said. “This pandemic has brought upon a time where it is imperative that we help each other.” 

The program locates nearby clinics and vaccination sites for users by zip code. 

“If you volunteer for four hours or more you’re classified within one of the tiers,” Cristina Valdivia Aguilar, a spokesperson for California Volunteers said.

Those who go through the program will be considered community health workers from the California essential workforce list, thereby authorized by the clinic administrator for a vaccine. Though demand for helping hands has been deliberate, some projections indicate there will be more opportunities in the coming weeks. 

The program has since encouraged individuals to inform their communities about their cause and even lend rides to vaccination sites.