Venice Family Clinic providing LAUSD students COVID vaccines as deadline nears

December 4, 2021

Originally published on Spectrum News1 – December 4, 2021

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The Los Angeles Unified School District is requiring that all students 12 years and older be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10, but for 9-year-old Catherine DiMarco getting a vaccine is not a happy thought.

“I’m a little bit scared because all the other shots I got were very painful,” Catherine DiMarco said.

However, she is pushing passed her bad experiences with the help of her mom Saule DiMarco, who is fully vaccinated, to get her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Catherine was one of dozens of LAUSD students who received the first dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine at Carson High School – which is being assisted by the Venice Family Clinic.

Saule DiMarco hoped the visit to the clinic would bring a dose of comfort as her daughter spends more time in the classroom and as the world learns more about the latest omicron variant.

Like any parent, Saule DiMarco wanted to make sure it was the best decision for Catherine.

“I had a bunch of questions,” she said. “I researched before because I only have one child. She’s my precious,” DiMarco said.

According to the school district, as of Nov. 22, 79% of required students reported having an exemption or a complete, partial vaccination.

Patricia Mendez, who is a registered nurse with the nonprofit Venice Family Clinic, shared that it is important for students to be vaccinated. Especially if they are heading back into the classroom.

“I try to give them reassurance because I said, ‘When you started school you had vaccinations, you just have to consider this the same in order for us to go to school and to be around other people. We all have to keep the community safe. It’s exactly the same thing. We need to be vaccinated,” Mendez said.

With a tight grip on bunny Bobo, Catherine DiMarco and her mom are happy to be past the first dose realizing that did not hurt as much as she first thought.

“Oh my God. I’m much, much relieved,” Saule DiMarco said.

Now that she is half vaccinated, Catherine DiMarco wants to share a message for other students who might be scared.

“If you haven’t got the COVID shot, it’s not going to hurt,” she said.

It is not clear when COVID worries will be over, but Catherine DiMarco and her mom are happy to know they are doing what they can to keep others safe.