BALDWIN PARK – Elementary students at Vineland Elementary School on Thursday laughed, cried, grimaced and even smiled as they received free flu shots through a District partnership with Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.
More than 800 elementary students across the District are receiving the shots this week, courtesy of the four-year partnership. Shots are administered by nursing students from Azusa Pacific University to children in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade.
The final flu shot clinics will be offered at Geddes and Pleasant View elementary schools on Friday, Oct. 13.
Some 120 students at Vineland signed up for the shots. Some were stoic, some even laughed and, naturally, some shed a few tears. Most left with smiles after receiving stickers and mini-flying discs.
“It hurt a little bit,” said second-grader Samuel Barajas, who shrugged off the brief pinch.
Azusa Pacific Global, Community and Urban Health Coordinator Koy Srirojanakul Parada told the nursing students that the free shots are a major benefit to Baldwin Park families. The campus clinics mean parents don’t need to take time off work to get the shots; the vaccinations mean students are less likely to miss critical days of school.
“For a lot of working families, it’s a burden to take their children to get flu vaccines,” Parada, also an assistant professor, told the nursing students during a pre-shot briefing.
Parada brought 13 nursing students, including some exchange students, to provide the shots. The students chatted with the Vineland children, putting them at ease by talking about favorite movies, meals and activities.
Kaiser Permanente staff was also on hand to aid nursing students with anxious patients.
“We are extremely fortunate to have this wonderful partnership with Kaiser Permanente,” Superintendent Dr. Froilan Mendoza said. “This flu clinic means our students have one less barrier to their success in our classrooms.”
Baldwin Park Unified also partners with Kaiser on programs designed to inspire students to consider medical careers and to promote healthy eating.
BPUSD_FLU_1-4: Vineland Elementary Students smiled, grimaced, laughed and cried as they received free flu vaccines on Thursday as part of a series of clinics this week sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. The final flu shot clinics will be offered at Geddes and Pleasant View elementary schools on Friday, Oct. 13.