By Myles Bridgewater-Jackman | Cal State LA News Service
Cal State LA collaborated with community partners on Friday to provide a free flu shot clinic where hundreds of people received immunizations.
The drive-thru event in a massive parking lot at the university was held as the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are accelerating in Los Angeles County and across the state. On Thursday, the county confirmed 5,031 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily number recorded during the pandemic.
Medical experts note that the convergence of the flu season and the increase in COVID-19 cases could overwhelm the public health system, making flu shots even more critical this year.
The Nov. 20 clinic was sponsored by Cal State LA and its Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good, as well as Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and QueensCare Health Centers. Participants also received bags of groceries and dental care kits.
“With the current surge in COVID-19 cases and the flu season upon us, it’s imperative that as many people as possible receive flu vaccinations,” said Cal State LA Executive Vice President José A. Gómez.
“We are pleased to partner with Supervisor Solis and QueensCare to help keep our students, their families and our community healthy and safe,” Gómez added. “This important collaboration will also assist us in creating the foundation and processes for the quick delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations, when they become available.”
A long line of vehicles snaked through the parking lot and outside to adjacent Paseo Rancho Castilla. The vehicles slowly filed into the parking lot between orange caution cones, directed by masked volunteers in fluorescent safety vests. Recipients received a temperature check before checking in and driving up to a designated immunization station.
After a wipe with an alcohol swab, a nurse administered the flu shots through a rolled down car window before sending the driver to another area where volunteers loaded the free dental kits and brown paper bags of groceries into the trunk.
The grocery bags included items such as rice, beans, canned goods and snacks. In the dental kits, recipients found toothbrushes, floss picks and toothpaste. The groceries and dental kits were provided by Cal State LA and its Educational Community Health Outreach (ECHO) program, housed in the Rongxiang Xu College of Health and Human Services. QueensCare Health Centers provided immunizations and medical personnel.
By the end of the event, more than 500 people, including Cal State LA students, received flu shots and 800 bags of groceries were distributed. The flu shot clinic was the latest community initiative sponsored by the university and its partners. The university has helped provide more than 112 tons of food to nearly 5,000 families in need at events across Los Angeles since the start of the pandemic. These distributions were held in partnership with Supervisor Solis, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles and Optimum Seismic Inc.
“We were gratified to see the hundreds of people who came out to the drive-thru clinic and we look forward to hosting future initiatives to benefit our communities,” said Cal State LA Associate Vice President for Operations and Chief Mission Officer Belen Vargas.
Photos: Hundreds of people received free flu shots during a drive-thru clinic at Cal State LA. Bottom, Participants received bags of groceries and dental care kits during the flu shot clinic. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)
# # #
California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.
Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit www.CalStateLA.edu.