By T.A. Hendrickson
As of Dec. 1, the Covid-19 vaccination rate among public school students ages 12 and up was 84% in Northeast Los Angeles, an encouraging sign that the vaccine requirement by L.A. Unified School District is working.
The 84% vaccination rate in NELA schools works out to 9,033 students ages 12 and up who are partially or fully vaccinated in NELA neighborhoods including Atwater Village, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, Hermon, Highland Park, Los Feliz and Mount Washington. About half of those vaccinated students are in what the LAUSD designates as the “Eagle Rock/Highland Park community of schools” and the other half are in the “Glassell Park/Los Feliz community of schools.”
The 16% of NELA public school students ages 12 and up who were unvaccinated as of Dec. 1 represents 1,720 students.
The Boulevard Sentinel received the vaccination data for NELA schools from LAUSD.
School officials expect the vaccination rate among LAUSD students to rise in coming days and weeks, because full vaccination is required for students ages 12+ to attend in-person classes starting Jan. 10, 2022. The deadline for a first shot was Nov. 21, though students can get an initial shot in the first week of December and still have enough time to get a second shot before the start of school next year. The LAUSD deadline for a second shot is Dec. 19.
Overall, 76% of all eligible vaccine recipients in L.A. County – those ages 5 and up – had at least one dose as of Nov. 25, including 78% of those ages 12 to 17, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health. Countywide, vaccine rates by age range from 96% for people ages 65+ to 13% for those ages 5 to 11.
That’s progress, but no setting is free from the risk of Covid-19.
In local schools, LAUSD data showed 10 active cases of Covid-19 detected at seven NELA public schools on Nov. 30. That’s an improvement from earlier in the school year. For example, on Sept. 8, the day before the LAUSD announced the vaccine requirement, there were 21 active cases of Covid-19 at 10 NELA schools.
The Covid-19 cases reported in NELA schools on Nov. 30 include two each at Eagle Rock Elementary, Eagle Rock High and Delevan Drive Elementary in Eagle Rock and one each at Franklin High in Highland Park, Mt. Washington Elementary, Irving Middle School in Glassell Park and San Pascual STEAM Magnet Elementary in Highland Park.
The upshot of all the statistics remains the same as ever: Vaccines and boosters coupled with mask wearing and outdoor gatherings are key to avoiding Covid-19 infection, severe illness and death.
T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel, and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times. Hendrickson is committed to local news reporting and to finding a way forward for local news outlets in today's challenging media markets.