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SAN FERNANDO : Free Children’s Vaccination Drive Begins

Roseann Brewer likes to bribe little children with pink happy-face stickers, not for their lunch money, but to ease the pain of the immunizations she injects as they cry and squiggle in their mothers’ arms.

A pediatric nurse practitioner for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Brewer is one of many medical personnel and volunteers involved in free immunization clinics throughout Los Angeles. The project started Friday and continues through today.

About 2,000 children are expected to be vaccinated through the clinics, being held Friday at 11 schools--all involved in the district’s Los Angeles Education Alliance for Restructuring Now program--and today at eight Catholic churches and one youth center.

The clinics are providing immunizations against measles, diphtheria, polio, rubella, mumps, tetanus, whooping cough and HIB, which causes meningitis in infants.

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“The Unites States lags behind in having our children immunized,” said Mardi Robes, a volunteer from the Los Angeles Rotary Club, one of the sponsors of the project.

“This gives the kids a chance to catch up or get them started with their first shots at no charge,” said Robes, who attended the clinic at Morningside Elementary School in San Fernando.

Silvia Delgado of San Fernando, who brought her 4-year-old daughter, Christina, said she was pleased to be able to have her daughter immunized for free. “They’re very expensive. I would have had to pay over $200.”

“All children are required to be immunized to enter preschool,” said Morningside Principal Vicki Montez. “The clinic will give them a head start” in the enrollment process for next fall.

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Other sponsors of the vaccination effort include the LAUSD, the Los Angeles County Department of Health, the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Catholic Hospitals Assn. of Los Angeles.


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