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St. Francis Medical Center Partners with L.A. County Department of Public Health and Veritas Healthcare to Offer new COVID-19 Bivalent Booster and Flu Vaccine

Community Vaccine Clinics address increasing rates of Omincron and flu and help ensure highly impacted populations are vaccinated

(LYNWOOD, CA – October 25, 2022) – St. Francis Medical Center, a member of Prime Healthcare, is partnering with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Veritas Healthcare to offer the new COVID-19 bivalent booster and the flu vaccine to the community. The clinics will be offered November 2-4, 2022, from 10 am–2 pm each day at St. Francis Medical Center, located at 3630 E. Imperial Highway in Lynwood. Vaccinations are available for all eligible L.A. County residents free of charge.

According to the latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the BA5 version of the Omicron variant makes up about 62.2% of the current COVID-19 cases in the U.S. (CDC COVID Data Tracker: Variant Proportions) Experts note that these numbers may only reflect a fraction of the actual cases since positive results from individuals using home testing kits are not publicly reported. As the virus continues to mutate, infection rates from new Omicron subvariants are expected to increase, particularly as the winter season approaches.

The CDC also anticipates a severe flu season. The CDC’s Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report for the week ending October 15, 2022, states, “Influenza activity is increasing in most of the country.” (Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report | CDC) A contributing factor is reduced population immunity. This is likely due to decreased vaccination rates among high-risk groups over the last two years and lower incidence of the virus for the past two seasons, when face masks and other infection prevention measures were in place.

St. Francis Medical Center’s vaccine clinics are part of its ongoing commitment to promote health equity for impacted communities across L.A. County. CEO Lawrence Barnard said, “This will be the fourth COVID-19 community clinic we have offered since the pandemic began. It is also among the numerous flu vaccine clinics we have coordinated for target populations over the past 30 years. Our partnership with L.A. County CDPH and Veritas Healthcare enables our vaccination outreach to be that much more extensive to residents who need it most.”

The new bivalent booster is designed to address both the original COVID-19 virus strain and the Omicron variants. It is available to anyone, ages 5-11 and 12+, who has received their primary doses of the COVID vaccine. Along with the Pfizer bivalent, the vaccine clinics will offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 6 months-4 years and 12+ years. The flu vaccine will be available for ages 6 months and older.

The vaccines, which are provided by L.A. CDPH, will be administered by Veritas Healthcare. Veritas Office Administrator Nancy Reyes said, “Scheduling an appointment is easy. It can be completed online at https://portal.veritas.healthcare/upcoming-events/c5905328-de75-4e4e-a667-ef66efba5293. Flu season starts now and runs through March or April. It is important for people to get vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent illness or severe illness and to help decrease the spread of infection.”

Vaccine recipients are asked to bring a photo ID (driver’s license, California ID, or other identification with their name and picture) and their health insurance card, if they have coverage. However, insurance is not required. Vaccines are provided regardless of ability to pay or whether or not a person is covered by insurance. Recipients will not have any financial responsibility.

Minors under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Masks are required and will be provided, if needed. Vaccine recipients are asked to refrain from attending the COVID/Flu clinics if they have any COVID/Flu-like symptoms or confirmed or suspected COVID infection.

“Our best prevention against COVID-19, its variants and the flu is to get vaccinated,” said Barnard. Our goal is to make vaccinations readily accessible, especially for communities where access to healthcare resources is limited. Building healthy communities brings better well-being for all.”

For more information about the St. Francis Medical Center Vaccine Clinics visit www.stfrancismedicalcenter.com or contact Veritas Healthcare at (424) 436-3443.

About St. Francis Medical Center: St. Francis Medical Center is one of the leading comprehensive healthcare institutions serving Southeast Los Angeles. A member of Prime Healthcare, St. Francis is dedicated to providing vital healthcare services for the 700,000 adults and 300,000 children who count on the hospital for high quality and compassionate medical care. St. Francis is recognized for its full range of diagnostic and treatment services in specialties including Cardiovascular, Surgical, Orthopedics, Maternal-Child Health, Trauma and Behavioral Health and has a broad array of outreach programs. St. Francis Medical Center is an Approved Primary Stroke Care Center and STEMI Receiving Center for Los Angeles County. Please visit www.stfrancismedicalcenter.com.

Raman Kaur
Author: Raman Kaur