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Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital Staff Vaccinate Community

As Summer Begins Area Residents Head to Vaccine Clinic at Boys & Girls Club of Venice

Before 12-year-old Beckett Fouquet heads off to sleep-away camp this summer with dozens of kids, his mother said she was looking for that little extra peace of mind that came with getting Beckett vaccinated against COVID-19.

"I wanted him to be able to take advantage of going to sleep-away camp after a year and a half of not being a kid," said Nika Fouquet, who lives with her son in Mar Vista. "It was a very conscious, deliberate choice to send him away this summer so he could be outdoors and play."

So she jumped at the chance to get Beckett vaccinated last week at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic hosted by Cedars-Sinai at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. Beckett had just turned 12 years old—the minimum age to qualify for a shot—and Nika was grateful that her son would have his first dose before he starts traveling this summer.

"At least he'll have his first [shot]. I can feel good about that," she said.

Beckett was one of more than 70 adults and kids vaccinated by Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital staff at the pop-up clinic in Venice last week. It's part of an effort by Cedars-Sinai to increase access to vaccinations in neighborhoods with low vaccination rates. Cedars-Sinai mobile teams have given almost 71,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to community members so far, and they'll continue the program until the pandemic ends.

"It's great to be here helping people who live in the hospital's community," said nurse Diane Freeman, RN, MSN, PHN, director of Education at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, as she prepared shots at the Venice clinic. "This is such a good thing. It's the right thing to do."

About 55% of Los Angeles County residents were fully vaccinated as of June 6, but about 80% need to be immunized in order to reach herd immunity, according to public health officials. Demand for shots has dropped in recent months, prompting Cedars-Sinai to offer vaccinations at convenient locations in underserved areas.

"We're making sure we are in places that people can get to really easily and places that they trust," said Carolyn Buenaflor, Cedars-Sinai associate director of Community Health Improvement. "Some people are still hesitant to get vaccinated, including parents of children ages 12-17. So this is part of a larger, longer effort. We're not quite in the last mile yet and we need to make sure that people know vaccination is still available for them, that it's still an option."

Beckett Fouquet was happy he had the option to get the COVID-19 vaccine, so he "doesn't get sick" while enjoying activities like archery and laser tag this summer.

"I'm really excited to go to camp," he said.

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: What to Do With Your Vaccination Card