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Introduction and Purpose

Achieving high levels of COVID-19 vaccination among eligible students, teachers, staff, and members of their households is the most effective strategy we have to keep school communities safe. Because schools are an important and trusted center of community life, school sites are an ideal location for COVID-19 vaccine clinics. School-located vaccine clinics can provide a convenient and familiar place to vaccinate students, school staff, and the surrounding community.

School district and school staff and administrators have been working very hard on COVID mitigation efforts throughout the pandemic. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) School Vaccine Team is here to provide support to schools in coordinating COVID vaccine clinics.

This toolkit serves as a guide for coordinating COVID-19 vaccine clinics, including information, best practices, and resources to engage schools in planning and promoting COVID-19 vaccine clinics at schools. School engagement in these steps is critical. Our most successful clinics are those in which the school conducts outreach to students, parents, staff, and communities and takes an active part in clinic planning and implementation.

On the following page, you will find a checklist to guide your school vaccine team through the planning, coordination, and implementation of your school-located vaccine clinics. We recommend printing this checklist to make it easy to track your progress and plan next steps.

If you have any questions about this toolkit or need additional resources, please contact:

 
COVID-19 School Vaccine Event Checklist for School Administrators
Checklist
COVID-19 School Vaccine Event Checklist for School Administrators
Preparing for your school-located vaccine clinic event
Recommended Timeline Task Description Check When Complete
At least 3 weeks before clinic Connect with COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Partner
DPH can assist in identifying vaccine partners for your school if needed.
At least 3 weeks before clinic Set a date and time for the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics at your school
Decide if you want to have an ongoing clinic or a one-time event. Consider timing of second dose event, consider a time when there may be other community events on campus like wellness fairs, fall/winter/spring festivals, COVID-testing, holiday events, etc. Get an estimated count of the number of students/parents interested in receiving a vaccine.
At least 3 weeks before clinic Identify key school personnel to support vaccine clinic event coordination
School Principal, Athletic Coaches, Teachers, PTA, School Nurse, Student Leaders/Influencers, etc.
2 weeks before clinic Finalize clinic details and conduct a site visit of your school with the vaccine provider
Walk-through of your school with the vaccinating partner and school personnel who will be present at the school clinic
Outreach and Promotion of Your School Vaccine Events
2 weeks before clinic Create a flyer with school-clinic details
The vaccine partner will provide web-links for optional pre-registration.
Make sure to have translated version of flyers if needed for your school.
Share flyers with your DPH liaison for additional support with promoting your event.
Begin sharing as early as possible; no later than 1 week before clinic Disseminate Vaccine Clinic Information
Print flyers and display at key locations on your school campus
Share flyer on landing page of school website Share flyer on school's social media accounts
Share flyer via parent/student communications platforms
Share clinic information and flyer with athletic coaches and other key staff
One week before clinic School principal to send a letter to parents with clinic information
One week before clinic Remind key school personnel and/or volunteers who will be present on campus during school clinic about upcoming clinic details
First Dose Clinic
1st Dose Clinic Place directional signage and flyers/banners to guide people to the vaccine clinic location at your school
If the clinic is open to the community, make sure that there are signs at the entrance of the parking lot, so people know where to park and where to go after parking.
Vaccine provider will arrive up to 1 hour prior to the clinic to set-up
School volunteers tasked with directing people to clinics and promoting the vaccine clinic to passerby or students/staff who happen to be on campus
DPH is available for additional support or troubleshooting.  
2nd Dose Clinic
2nd Dose Clinic (after 3 weeks) Same process as first dose clinic
DPH will check in regarding next steps and to help support additional vaccine clinics.  

Print this checklist

Roles and Responsibilities
Checklist

Coordination of school-based vaccine clinics involves the collaboration of three groups:

  1. School/School District
    1. Identify a primary point of contact
    2. Identify locations, dates, and times of vaccine clinics
    3. Provide outreach and promotion (make and share flyers with clinic details)
    4. Host vaccine clinic on school campus
    5. Provide staff and/or volunteers to help with parking, wayfinding, and check-in on the day of the clinic. Having a well-known presence (principal, coaches, etc.) on-site is reassuring to parents/students and helpful in coordinating logistics.
  2. Vaccine Provider
    1. Provide clinical team and medical supplies
    2. Administer vaccines
    3. Set up clinic and share registration link

      The vaccine provider will open the clinic(s) in the MyTurn website https://myturn.ca.gov/ and provide the registration link or QR code to use for registration. This link/QR code should be included in promotional flyers. While appointments will help the clinic move smoothly, walk-ins should also be allowed. In addition to school site clinics, or as an alternative, schools may promote vaccination and provide information on COVID-19 vaccine locations nearby. Please refer to Appendix A for step-by-step instructions for finding vaccine clinics.

  3. Department of Public Health (DPH) School Vaccine Team Liaisons
    1. Identify a vaccine partner for the school
    2. Provide print or electronic resources
    3. Provide in-person or virtual education
    4. Education sector liaison available to support vaccine efforts
    5. Vaccine administration and clinic call line:
      1.  For questions regarding vaccine storage, distribution, handling, etc. Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm, Call: 833-505-0761 or email: COVIDVaccineReq@ph.lacounty.gov
      2. Consults about vaccine safety: give consultations to providers regarding vaccine safety and guidelines
        1. 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4626)
        2. In case of an emergency safety question, call 770- 488-7100
Creating a School Vaccine Team
Checklist

Identify a team of key school stakeholders that will inspire vaccine confidence and promote a successful vaccine event. This team will coordinate the event with the vaccine provider and implement outreach initiatives to the school community, including peer to peer communication, to improve uptake.

It is key that a school site administrator is aware and involved in the planning of the vaccine clinics.

Members of this team could include:

    Principal (or Vice Principal): can send out a letter/email to parents notifying them of the vaccine clinic events and encouraging vaccination

    School Nurse: may ask about vaccination when collecting updated immunization records or participate in the vaccine clinic by observing students post-vaccination

    Sports Coaches/Athletic Director: can discuss vaccination with athletes and how it can impact testing requirements and/or quarantine 

    Additional key school stakeholders who can help facilitate school vaccine clinics:

    • Teachers
    • Parent/PTA lead
    • School board member
    • Students
    • ESL Coordinator
    • School district communications staff

On-Site School Staff for Vaccine Clinics

Identify school personnel that will be present during the vaccine clinics, including the lead point of contact. During the planning stage and/or site walk-through, the vaccine provider might also identify how many school staff volunteers will be needed for the clinic event.

  • School site lead (e.g., school administrator) during clinic
  • Security staff if clinic is conducted after hours and/or open to the community
  • Other staff to assist in set up/tear down, traffic flow, registration, and observation area
Planning the Vaccine Clinic
Checklist

Overview

Flowchart overview

Scheduling School Clinics

Various options can be considered for scheduling school-located COVID-19 vaccine clinics depending on needs, resources, and access. For example, you can schedule one clinic on each of your school campuses or schedule recurring/ongoing clinics at one or more central school sites. You can also decide if the vaccine clinic will be offered for students only, students and school staff, family members, or open to the community. Capacity, space, and needs may vary, but we strongly encourage you to make school vaccine clinics open to the community.

Your Department of Public Health Education Liaison will help identify a vaccine provider for your school if you do not already have one.

When selecting clinic dates and times:

  • Schedule clinics at least two weeks in advance to give enough time for planning and promotion
  • Consider multiple days of the week to provide opportunity for all students
  • Determine whether the clinics will take place during school hours or after hours. Evening and weekend clinics may be easier for parents to attend. For younger students, it is especially helpful for parents or a responsible adult to be present, so planning after-school, evening, or weekend COVID-19 vaccine clinics may work best for vaccinating 5–11-year-olds.
  • Consider selecting dates that correspond with other school events where students and parents may be present (e.g., open house, wellness fair, fall festival etc.) Funding to support wellness events that INCLUDE a COVID-19 vaccine clinic may be available for your school. Visit the Los Angeles County Office of Education website for information on available grants:  https://www.lacoe.edu/Home/Partnerships/GrantsList
  • Remember that the second dose dates will need to be scheduled 3 weeks after first dose clinics for Pfizer
  • Consider providing other services such as flu or Tdap vaccines, and dental/vision screenings

Special Considerations When Planning Vaccine Clinics for 5-11 Year-Olds

Five- to eleven-year-old children are now eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. The following are some special considerations when planning vaccine clinics for this age group:

  1. Designing the clinic to minimize anxiety in young children. This may include:
    • Minimizing wait times prior to the administration of the vaccine 
    • Using room dividers or multiple rooms so that children do not see other children getting a shot 
    • Identifying a “quiet room” for children identified by their parents as being particularly nervous or have had bad experiences with shots 
    • Allowing additional space at vaccine administration stations for parents and/or additional children 
    • Having activities (e.g., arts and crafts, bubbles, ring toss), a movie or an outdoor space available for the observation period 
    • Encouraging schools to enlist staff familiar with child-care at the clinic to assist in distraction and monitoring children 
  2. Designing the clinic to avoid vaccine administration errors since both the 10mcg pediatric dose and 30mcg adult dose of Pfizer may be available at the same clinics. This may include: 
    • Having different vaccine preparation and administration areas for the two dosages
    • Having clinicians only administer one type/dose of vaccine at a time
    • Setting up separate lines depending on the type of vaccine needed for the individual
  3. Consider involving the parents:
    • When possible, have a pediatrician available either at site or during a pre-clinic townhall to answer parent questions
    • Allow parents to hold the child on their lap for vaccine administration
    • Ask parents to bring comfort items or toys/books to distract the child during their shot
    • Have volunteers to help support parents in distracting their child or helping with parents who have more than one child present
Facilities and Space

Identify a space for the vaccine clinic. Typical space options include:

  • School Cafeteria
  • Gymnasium
  • An area of school parking lot
  • Outdoor space
  • Auditorium
  • Classroom
  • Multi-purpose room

Size of the space needed will depend on number of individuals expected and the length of time of the clinic. Ideally, the space should be configured to allow for a unidirectional flow through each station from check-in to check-out. It is best practice to conduct a walk-thru with the vaccine provider to review the space and confirm what the provider will bring and what the school will supply. 

When identifying the site, please consider:

  • Weather and air quality (heat, fires, and rain)
  • Accessibility
  • Security, if the clinic will be open to the community and students will be on campus
  • Access to electrical outlets and/or need for extension cords
  • Trip hazards if extension cords or other hazards may be present
  • Proximity to a central supply repository if additional supplies may be needed during the clinic
  • Proximity to accessible restrooms for the vaccine provider
  • Parking options for both vaccine providers and people attending the clinic. Parking for those with limited mobility should be identified near the vaccine clinic.

Configure the layout to allow spaces for:

  • Check-in
  • Registration
  • Observation area
  • Preparation area for vaccine provider
  • Vaccine administration
Sample Site Plans

During the site-visit, the vaccine provider will help identify where to set up the vaccine clinic. It is recommended that a site map is drafted. Sample site maps are included below. It is helpful to label the designated space for each section of the vaccine clinic (check-in and registration, vaccine preparation area, vaccine administration area, and observation area). Satellite maps of the school grounds can also be helpful to plan out the parking area and entrance/exit points.

Sample site plan
Supplies

Supplies needed are dependent on both the vaccine clinic location and vaccine provider so please work with your provider to determine specific needs. Vaccine providers will be responsible for bringing all medical/clinical supplies. A list of general supplies and materials that the school may need to provide include:

  • Wi-fi access, including easy access to login and password requirements
  • Tables and chairs
  • Printed/Posted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)
  • Canopies for outdoor events
  • Trashcans
  • Directional signage to clearly mark ingress/egress and clinic stations. Download samples from LACOE Social Media Toolkit (See page 9).
  • Sign holders (A-frames, candlesticks, etc.)
Promotion and Outreach
Remote Work Remote Work Remote Work

Key Strategies for Promoting School Vaccine Clinics

  1. Create and circulate promotion flyers. Share flyers with your DPH liaison and LACOE so we can support your promotion efforts.
  2. Send e-mails or letters to parents, staff, and students. (See sample letters in the Resources section of this page.)
  3. Post vaccine clinic information and flyers on district and school websites and social media accounts regularly leading up to the event.
  4. Make robocalls and/or send text messages with vaccine clinic information and reminders.
  5. Hang banners at schools that are visible to students, parents, and community.
  6. Notify key school personnel about the vaccine clinic by sharing the clinic flyer with them. Encourage athletic directors, coaches, front office staff, and other key staff to inform students about your school vaccine clinics.
  7. If you have an existing partnership with any community-based organizations, consider asking them to assist in promotions (e.g., canvas neighborhood, distribute flyers)

Best Practices and Other School Outreach Strategies

  • Hand out flyers at events such as food distributions.
  • Permit in-person registration — it is effective and gives families a chance to ask questions.
  • Add MyTurn registration link to school website and include instructions for searching by zip code.
  • Incorporate messaging over school announcement system.
  • Set up a call line to help individuals make appointments and to serve as a resource to students and parents.
  • Provide talking points for teachers to incorporate in their class announcements (see Appendix A).
  • Provide talking points for coaches to make announcements to their athletes.
  • Provide positive images of school or community members in promotional materials (flyers, etc.).
  • Provide positive images of school or community members in promotional materials (flyers, etc.).
  • Involve the PTA and student leadership.
  • Host a virtual Q&A session/townhall. DPH physicians and community pediatricians can be available to speak at these events.
  • Utilize testimonials in outreach (e.g., from a teacher or nurse: “I received my vaccine to keep my students, my family and myself safe”; from a student: “I received my vaccine so that I can protect myself and my teammates when playing basketball”).
  • Plan a teacher training at an in-service day or regular staff meeting to provide teachers COVID-19 Vaccine information and resources to provide messaging to students.
  • Hold a contest and engage students in responding creatively to “Why I got vaccinated against COVID-19.” They could create a TikTok video, draw or create a digital image, write or perform a poem, etc. Select winners and present them with an award or scholarship. Share submitted materials on school social media accounts or disseminate in other ways.
  • Set up a school photo backdrop so students can take photos after receiving their vaccine.
  • Provide stickers that students can wear after getting their vaccine.
Creating a Flyer for Your School COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

Create a vaccine clinic flyer for each school clinic and begin sharing the flyer as early as possible, at least one week before the clinic. The flyer can be printed and posted on your school campus and shared digitally on social media and your school website. If you need assistance creating a flyer, please contact your DPH liaison. On the following pages, we have included several flyer templates that you can use to promote your school events. The templates can be accessed via links to a Google docs folder or Canva (you can create a free account).

The following are key elements to include on your flyers:

  • Clinic location: School name, school location (gym, cafeteria, etc.), and street address
  • Date and time (include the dates for first and second dose clinics)
  • State the event is for "Free COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic"
  • Registration information, including QR code or website (generated by vaccine provider)
  • State if event is open to the community and that walk-ins are accepted
  • Optional elements: List name of vaccine provider, school logo, provider logo, etc.

To use the following templates, click the image and sign in to your Canva account or create a free account to  modify the template with your clinic details. You can also download PowerPoint versions of these flyers in the Resources section of this page.

To use the following templates, follow the link below and select "Open with Google Docs." Download a copy of the Google Slides, and edit the template to include your school clinic details.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SOiG07qzZy7humnYGloExJHZO_6SSemj/view

Template 1
Template 2
Sample Talking Points
  • COVID-19 vaccines are FREE and available to everyone who is 5 and older
  • Although studies have shown that COVID-19 in children can be mild, some children can become very ill or have long-lasting symptoms that affect their health and well-being in the long term.
  • Scientists conducted clinical trials before recommending the COVID-19 vaccine for children. The FDA gave Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization for children ages 5-15 and full approval for people ages 16 and older.
  • Children can transmit the coronavirus (just like adults) to others if they’re infected, even when no symptoms are present. The COVID-19 vaccine protects against this potential harm to the child and others, including family members and friends who may be susceptible.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine protects the health of our school community and as we return to the classroom.
  • Vaccinating children ages 5 years and older can help keep them in school and help them safely participate in sports, playdates, and other group activities.

Vaccine numbers as of October 2021

After getting the vaccine

  • It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. You are not fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after the 2nd dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine
  • The most common side effects are pain in the arm where you got the shot, feeling tired, headache, body aches, chills, and fever. Some people experience no side effects.
  • People who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic
Incentives
Checklist

Providing incentives can be helpful in promoting your vaccine clinic and increasing participation. Some ideas that have worked for schools include:

  • Partnering with a local business to provide food, scheduling a food truck, or providing bags/baskets of food or snacks
  • Partnering with community-based organizations to provide giveaway items
  • Gift cards
  • A raffle for gifts/awards/scholarships
  • Items with the school logo
  • A special event for students
  • Vaccine stickers. Email our COVID Vaccine Administration Call Center at COVIDVaccineReq@ph.lacounty.gov or call 833-505-0761 to request stickers.
Frequently Asked Questions

DPH liaisons can assist in finding a vaccine partner suitable to provide mobile COVID vaccine services at your school sites.

We recommend that planning start at least 3 weeks before the desired date of the first dose clinics. This will allow you to have enough time to promote the event and help make your vaccine clinic a success! Depending on school resources and staff support available, your DPH liaison can work with you to plan a clinic in a shorter time frame.

Everyone 5 years and older is currently eligible to receive the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This toolkit includes four flyer templates you can customize for your vaccine clinic events. Please contact your DPH liaison if you need assistance with creating a flyer or need to access the flyer templates in an alternate file format.

No. There is no direct cost to the school or school district in order to host a vaccine clinic. The vaccine provider will bring the vaccines and all the clinical supplies needed. We do encourage you to have at least three school personnel and security available on site on the day of the clinics, which may be on a volunteer basis or overtime pay may be needed. If possible, your school can choose to have additional resources available during the clinics such as bottled water and/or vaccine incentives.
Note: The COVID-19 vaccine is free to all individuals and medical insurance is NOT required.

Yes! This is a great strategy because it increases the visibility of the vaccine clinic and therefore more people will be able to access the vaccine. We have found that these vaccine events are more successful.

School vaccine clinics are usually held in a school cafeteria, auditorium, gym, or an outdoor area such as a section of the parking lot. Scheduling a site visit with your vaccine provider is very important in identifying the optimal vaccine clinic location at your school.

Written consent is allowable for parents of children 5 and up, but it is up to the school and the vaccine provider to decide what will work best for your school clinic.

Additional COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Resources
Checklist

The school vaccine team should familiarize themselves with general information on the COVID-19 vaccine, including:

These resources are available in multiple languages. Resources and sample messaging are available in the TK-12 School Toolkit. Resources for parents are available on the COVID-19 Resources for Parents & Guardians webpage.

American Academy of Pediatrics COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign Toolkit

Resources
Searching Online for a COVID-19 Vaccine: A Step-by-Step Guide
School Vaccine Clinic Flyer Template 1
School Vaccine Clinic Flyer Template 2
Social Media Graphics
Sample Site Plan
COVID-19 School Vaccine Event Checklist for School Administrators
Letter to Parents - Templates
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