NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Health Department (NOHD), the Mayor’s Office of Youth & Families (OYF), NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) and LCMC Health are providing childhood vaccines to citywide feeding sites.
A CDC report released in May 2020 found a troubling drop in routine childhood vaccinations as a result of families staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although public health stay-at-home warnings were followed, an unfortunate result was that many children missed routine vaccinations. This partnership between NOHD, OYF, NOLA-PS and LCMC is providing needed access for children to be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. Children will still need to be up to date on their vaccinations when schools reopen for in-person learning.
“With the rise of COVID-19 cases in New Orleans, we have seen a decline in the number of patients coming in for routine vaccinations,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “As flu season approaches, it is even more critical that we ensure that all residents, including our kids, are up to date on their vaccinations. It is vital that we keep our cases of flu subdued as we continue to focus our efforts toward flattening the curve. Thanks to initiatives like this one, we can bring the resources directly to our families and ensure that everyone is receiving what they need to stay healthy and safe.”
“It is always best for kids to have a well-child visit with their doctor to address all their needs, but we know that may not be possible for all families right now. We want to move outside the walls of medical offices into communities to ensure children are up to date on routine vaccines. We are excited to work with our partners, and with more than 1 million meals served to students across New Orleans through the NOLA-PS feeding program, I am hopeful this will create further vaccination access for families,” said Dr. Jennifer Avegno, Director, New Orleans Health Department.
“It is important that we create innovative solutions to provide resources for our families and children during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are excited to leverage the success of the community feeding program and provide free immunizations for our children and families. These clinics will ensure that our children are healthy and up to date on all their vaccines as the school year begins. We are grateful for New Orleans Public Schools’ and Children’s Hospital’s support with this important initiative,” said Emily Wolff, Director, Mayor’s Office of Youth & Families.
“We are excited to be able to join forces with the New Orleans Health Department and LCMC to make this resource available to families. As with all of our planning, our top priority continues to be the health and safety our students and our community,” said Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr., Superintendent of NOLA Public Schools.
“Children’s Hospital New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Immunization Network are proud to partner with the City of New Orleans to provide critical child immunizations at the city’s feeding sites,” said Natasha Richardson, Vice President, Academic Affiliations and Community Programs, Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “By reaching our children and families where they are, we can help ensure our children stay up to date on important immunizations to protect against diseases like measles, mumps, and the whooping cough.”
Families wishing to access information on child nutrition resources should visit the District’s web page. This web page has the most up-to-date listing of where food services are available.