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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #21-81
October 11, 2021
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Launches New Vaccine Outreach Effort with Community Health Network AltaMed, Expanding on Prior Work Protecting Vulnerable Students, Families

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced the ¡Ándale! ¿Qué Esperas? public education partnership with AltaMed Community Health Network. This critical campaign expands access to lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines throughout the state of California. This vaccine effort is focused on communities hit hardest to keep our schools safely open so that our students can recover from learning loss caused by the pandemic. COVID-19 has disproportionately affected millions of Latinos throughout California, and the ¡Ándale! ¿Qué Esperas? campaign aims to get 450,000 Latinos vaccinated in medically underserved areas of California through grassroots COVID-19 vaccine outreach, education, and support services, including a statewide call center. In addition to getting access to COVID-19 vaccines, the call centers will connect our families to five regional health care partners who will also provide much needed social services.

“We are helping schools connect with community health centers to not only get the vaccines for eligible students and family members, but also to help find the best times and spaces to provide the vaccinations like mobile clinics at convenient locations or even pop-up sites at school events,” said Thurmond. “Additionally, we want everyone to know about the call center that will connect callers to the closest vaccination site at a certain time and can take questions in English and Spanish—call (855) YA-ANDALE or (855) 922-6325.”

On Tuesday, October 12 at 12:30 p.m., State Superintendent Thurmond will join Lizette Escobedo, Associate Vice President of Civic Engagement and Advocacy at AltaMed, to discuss the new vaccine mandates recently announced, and the importance of vaccinating all students in California public schools. View the discussion on ¡Ándale! ¿Qué Esperas? Instagram Live.

Recognizing that a vaccine mandate for students could be scheduled to be as early as January 1, 2022, depending on full FDA approval, Thurmond plans to continue his efforts to focus on vaccine outreach. This includes partnering with the ¡Ándale! ¿Qué Esperas? (“Hurry, what are you waiting for?”) campaign, whose goal is reaching more than 4.45 million Latinos through public education, and more than 2.25 million Latinos via direct outreach in partnership with clinic partners in San Diego County, Orange County, Los Angeles County, the Central Valley, and Northern California.

Thurmond and the California Department of Education (CDE) are also working with Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to help implement the recently announced vaccine mandate for schools, and will be working to help school leaders understand and implement the mandate.

Since vaccines became available, Superintendent Thurmond has been hosting and participating in vaccine outreach events as a strategy for keeping schools open and safe. This includes webinars with key trusted leaders in the African-American, Latino, and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities to help debunk myths that have led to vaccine hesitancy in communities of color. He has also participated in outreach to more than 500,000 households in Los Angeles County and supported vaccine clinics in Oakland, San Francisco, and Culver City. The State Superintendent’s vaccine webinars have included leaders such as U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, California Surgeon General and pediatrician Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, and civil rights leaders Dolores Huerta and Karen Korematsu.

As the new vaccine mandate for schools is being rolled out, Thurmond will work with school leaders to make sure that schools understand how the mandate will work, and will filter feedback from school leaders to state health officials to help make the rollout as smooth as possible. As vaccines become approved for younger students, Thurmond anticipates continuing direct advocacy with districts and school leaders to encourage them to pursue vaccine mandates.

Thurmond welcomes collaboration from state and school leaders and public health officials and encourages anyone interested in partnering on vaccine outreach efforts to contact the CDE main phone number at 916-319-0800.

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Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Friday, June 14, 2024
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