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Introduction and Purpose

This toolkit is intended for schools and serves as a guide for coordinating school-located vaccine (SLV) clinics, including best practices and resources to support schools in the planning, coordination, and promotion of immunization services in school settings. While it includes information and resources for TK-12 schools, the overall content is helpful for childcare facilities, preschools, and institutes of higher education.

Vaccination is critical in protecting students and staff from preventable and potentially serious diseases. School sites are an ideal location for vaccine clinics because they are important and trusted community hubs. SLV clinics can provide a convenient and familiar place to vaccinate students, school staff, and the surrounding community.

Benefits of SLV clinics include:

  • Keeping children healthy and in school
  • Making immunizations more accessible by reducing access barriers, including cost or insurance coverage
  • Reducing missed work for parents
  • Reducing absenteeism for students, teachers, and staff
  • Increasing coverage of school-required immunizations and keeping students up-to-date on routine childhood immunizations
  • Ability to vaccinate a large number of individuals in a short timeframe, especially during times of higher demand for vaccines, such as in preparation of the new school year or flu season.

If you have any questions about this toolkit or need additional resources, please contact the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) School Support Team at SchoolSupport@ph.lacounty.gov.

Overview of School-Located Vaccine Clinics

School-Located Vaccine (SLV) Clinics have a long history in the US as an effective strategy in helping to protect children and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases. The SLV clinic strategy has been used to successfully administer vaccinations to children for routine and school-required immunizations and to large masses of community members for influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.

SLV clinics typically are temporary mobile or pop-up events in school facilities that have been set up for mass vaccination and involve coordination with partners. There is no one-size fits all approach for SLV clinics. Considerations for determining the best model for your school include:

  • Vaccines needed
  • Schedule, timing, and frequency of clinic
  • Location and physical space
  • Target audience (students, students and staff, open to community)
  • Partners involved
  • Communication and promotion strategies
  • Other services offered

Key components of successful SLV clinic events:

  • Buy-in from school leaders
  • Strong partnerships with clear roles and common goals
  • Organized and detailed planning
  • Understanding of barriers to vaccination and a plan to address those barriers
  • Effective communication and outreach to parents and community
Roles and Responsibilities

Coordinating SLV clinics involves collaboration between schools/school districts, vaccine provider, LACDPH, and other community partners.

By law, children are required to receive certain immunizations in order to attend public and private schools and pre-kindergarten facilities, including childcare centers, family daycare homes, and nursery/preschools (CA Health and Safety Code, Sections 120325-120375). Schools and pre-kindergarten facilities are responsible for enforcing immunization requirements, maintaining immunization records of enrolled students, and submitting reports. For information and resources on requirements and implementation, go to Shots for Schools website (CDPH) and see Requirements FAQs.

School Personnel Roles & Responsibilities:

  • Identify a primary point of contact and any additional school vaccine champions such as school administrators, school nurse, health office coordinators, PTA reps, etc. It is key to have school administrators involved, and vaccine champions can help inspire vaccine confidence and promote a successful vaccine clinic.
  • Determine SLV clinic model based on needs and resources
    • Utilize existing partnerships if the district has a school-based health center or relationship with health care providers
    • Schools or school districts that are already vaccine providers or have the capacity to enroll as a vaccine provider can administer immunizations at vaccine clinic events. For information on becoming a Vaccines for Children (VFC) provider, click here.
  • Form partnership with an external vaccine provider such as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), local pharmacy, or other provider that offers mobile vaccine services. Considerations for selecting a partner may include whether they have a mobile clinic or can set up a temporary clinic on campus, whether they are a Vaccine for Children (VFC) provider and/or take private insurance, and whether they have the vaccines needed by your school community.
  • Identify locations, dates, and times of SLV clinics
  • Provide outreach and promotion, including general promotion activities and targeted communication to parents for students in need of required vaccines
  • Host SLV clinic on campus
  • Provide staff and/or volunteers to help with parking, wayfinding, and check-in on the day of the clinic.
  • Schools may also be asked to determine number of registrants or collect advance paperwork

Vaccine Provider

  • Provide clinical team and medical supplies
  • Administer vaccines
  • Set up clinic and share registration link or QR code, if available
  • Report administered vaccinations to CAIR

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH)

  • Assist in identifying a vaccine provider for schools/districts to partner with
  • Provide training and resources to school staff in implementing immunization requirements. To request training support from LACDPH, complete and submit this form.
  • Support education and outreach to school community on childhood immunizations
  • To request support from LACDPH contact the School Support Team at 213-351-7800 or SchoolSupport@ph.lacounty.gov
Planning School-Located Vaccine Clinic

Below is a checklist to guide schools and your school vaccine champions through the planning, coordination, and implementation of your school-located vaccine clinics. We recommend printing this checklist to make it easy to track your progress and plan next steps.

School-Located Vaccine (SLV) Event Checklist
Task Description Check When Complete
Preparing for your school-located vaccine clinic event
Connect with a Vaccine Provider Partner
DPH can assist in identifying vaccine partners for your school if needed.

Determine what vaccines will be offered and any associated cost.
Set a date and time for the Vaccine Clinics at your school
Decide if you want to have an ongoing clinic or a one-time event. Schedule them during a time when vaccinations are in higher demand such as back-to-school or flu season. Consider aligning them with other events on campus like community resource or wellness fairs, school enrollment events, holiday events, etc. Consider offering other needed services such as physical exams for sports participation, or resources such as food distribution for families.
Identify key school personnel to support vaccine clinic event coordination and promotion
Finalize clinic details and conduct a site visit at the school with the vaccine provider, if needed
Discuss consent requirements with vaccine provider. Confirm vaccine provider arrival time and set up needs. Consider conducting a walk-through of the school with the vaccinating partner and school personnel who will be present at the school clinic
Outreach and Promotion of Your SLV Clinic Events
Begin at least 2 weeks in advance
Consider focusing on students with conditional status or at risk for exclusion.
Create a flyer with school-clinic details
Include registration info and required documents Make sure to have translated version of flyers, if needed for your school.
Disseminate Vaccine Clinic Information
Print flyers and display at key locations on your school campus Share flyer on landing page of school website Share flyer on school's social media accounts Share flyer via parent/student communications platforms Share clinic information and flyer with athletic coaches and other key staff.
Some families may require multiple phone calls and reminder contacts, including students who have missing doses.
School principal to send a letter to parents with clinic information
Remind key school personnel and/or volunteers who will be present on campus during school clinic about upcoming clinic details
Host Vaccine Clinic Event
Set up clinic space
Place directional signage and flyers/banners to guide people to the vaccine clinic location at your school
If the clinic is open to the community, make sure that there are signs at the entrance of the parking lot, so people know where to park and where to go after parking.
Vaccine provider will arrive up to 1 hour prior to the clinic to set-up
School volunteers tasked with directing people to clinics and promoting the vaccine clinic to passerby or students/staff who happen to be on campus
Provide resources for additional low and no-cost vaccination services
Provide affirmation and information on the benefits of getting vaccinated, information on what to expect (side-effects) and how to treat them.

DPH is available for additional support or troubleshooting.  
Assess Vaccine Clinic Event
Identify what went well and lessons learned for future vaccine clinic events, if applicable. Suggested areas for review: planning process, promotion and outreach activities, physical space and set up, clinic flow, day, and time, etc.
Schedule additional clinics as needed.

Print this checklist

Other SLV Clinic Planning Checklists:

Scheduling School-located Vaccine Clinics

Various options can be considered for scheduling SLV clinics depending on needs, resources, and access.

In general, when selecting clinic dates and times:

  • Schedule clinics with ample time for planning and promotion
  • Consider multiple days of the week to provide opportunity for all students
  • Determine whether the clinics will take place during school hours or after hours. Evening and weekend clinics may be easier for parents to attend. For younger students, it is especially helpful for parents or a responsible adult to be present, so planning after-school, evening, or weekend vaccine clinics may work best for vaccinating younger children.
  • Consider selecting dates that correspond with other school events where students and parents may be present (e.g., back-to-school and enrollment events, open house, wellness fair, fall festival etc.).
  • Consider providing other services such as screenings for vision, hearing, and oral health with a health care provider.

For SLV clinics for school-required immunizations:

  • Schedule clinics during enrollment and back-to-school season, including end of school year, summer break, and beginning of new school year
  • Check immunization status of enrolled students to identify students that are due for required immunizations

For seasonal flu and COVID vaccine clinics:

  • Schedule clinics in the fall to prepare for winter virus season
  • Consider opening the clinic to staff, families, and the community, depending on capacity of vaccine provider
Facilities and Space

Select site locations fitting for the type of immunizations offered. For example, consider elementary schools and early childhood education centers for immunizations for younger children, middle school sites for 7th grade requirements, or multiple central locations for flu vaccination.

Identify a space on the school site to host the vaccine clinic. Typical space options for mobile pop-up events include:

  • School Cafeteria
  • Gymnasium
  • An area of school parking lot
  • Outdoor space
  • Auditorium
  • Classroom
  • Multi-purpose room

For vaccine providers with mobile clinic vehicles, identify an area on the school property to park the vehicle with adequate space for recipients to check in/check out and for waiting areas. Consider roping off the area for the mobile clinic vehicle.

Size of the space needed will depend on number of individuals expected and the length of time of the clinic. Ideally, the space should be configured to allow for a unidirectional flow through each station from check-in to check-out. It is best practice to conduct a walk-thru with the vaccine provider to review the space and confirm what the provider will bring and what the school will supply. During the site walk-through, the vaccine provider can identify how the vaccine clinic should be set up. Consider drafting a site map to configure layout and label designated areas.

When identifying the site, please consider:

  • Weather and air quality (heat, fires, and rain)
  • Accessibility
  • Security, if the clinic will be open to the community, and students will be on campus
  • Access to electrical outlets and/or need for extension cords
  • Trip hazards if extension cords or other hazards may be present
  • Proximity to a central supply repository if additional supplies may be needed during the clinic
  • Proximity to accessible restrooms for the vaccine provider
  • Parking options for both vaccine providers and people attending the clinic. Parking for those with limited mobility should be identified near the vaccine clinic.

Configure the layout to allow spaces for:

  • Check-in
  • Registration
  • Waiting area
  • Preparation area for vaccine provider
  • Vaccine administration

Supplies needed are dependent on both the vaccine clinic location and vaccine provider so please work with your provider to determine specific needs. Vaccine providers will be responsible for bringing all medical/clinical supplies. A list of general supplies and materials that the school may need to provide include:

  • Wi-fi access, including easy access to login and password requirements
  • Tables and chairs
  • Canopies for outdoor events
  • Trashcans
  • Directional signage to clearly mark ingress/egress and clinic stations.
  • Sign holders (A-frames, candlesticks, etc.)
  • Portable dividers for privacy for vaccine administration
  • Cones for outdoor vehicle traffic flow
  • Stanchions for indoor outdoor areas to help with flow
On-Site School Staff for Vaccine Clinics

Identify school personnel that will be present during the vaccine clinics, including the lead point of contact and any school vaccine champions. During the planning stage and/or site walk-through, the vaccine provider might also identify how many school staff volunteers will be needed for the clinic event.

  • School site lead (e.g., school administrator) during clinic
  • Security staff if clinic is conducted after hours and/or open to the community
  • Other staff to assist in set up/tear down, traffic flow, registration, and waiting area
Special Considerations When Planning Vaccine Clinics for Young Children
  1. Design the clinic to minimize anxiety in young children. This may include:
    • Minimizing wait times prior to vaccine administration
    • Using room dividers or multiple rooms so that children do not see other children getting a shot
    •  Identifying a “quiet room” for children identified by their parents as being particularly nervous or having had bad experiences with needles
    • Allowing additional space at vaccine administration stations for parents and/or additional children
    •  Having activities (e.g. arts and crafts, bubbles, ring toss), a movie or an outdoor space available while waiting
    • Encouraging schools to enlist staff familiar with child-care at the clinic to assist in distracting and monitoring children
  2. Consider involving parents:
    • When possible, have a physician or other medical professional available either at site or during a pre-clinic townhall to answer parent questions
    • Allow parents to hold the child on their lap for vaccine administration
    • Ask parents to bring comfort items or toys/books to distract the child during their shot
    • Have volunteers to help support parents in distracting their child or helping with parents who have more than one child present
Promotion and Outreach
Remote Work Remote Work Remote Work

Key Strategies for Promoting School Vaccine Clinics

  1. Create and circulate promotion flyers.
  2. Send e-mails or letters to parents, staff, and students.
  3. Post vaccine clinic information and flyers on district and school websites and social media accounts regularly leading up to the event.
  4. Make robocalls and/or send text messages with vaccine clinic information and reminders.
  5. Hang banners at schools that are visible to students, parents, and community.
  6. Notify key school personnel about the vaccine clinic by sharing the clinic flyer with them. Encourage front office staff and other key staff to inform students about your school vaccine clinics.
  7. If you have an existing partnership with any community-based organizations, consider asking them to assist in promotions (e.g., canvas neighborhood, distribute flyers)

Best Practices and Other School Outreach Strategies

  • Send direct communications to parents for students who need to catch up on required immunizations. Sample Parent Letter: Notification of Immunizations Needed (CDPH): English, Spanish; Sample parent announcements (California Immunization Council)
  • Share educational flyers about the importance of routine immunizations or flu and COVID vaccines. See parent resources
  • Hand out flyers during school drop off and dismissal times and at school and community events such as food distributions.
  • Allow in-person registration — it is effective and gives families a chance to ask questions.
  • Incorporate messaging over school announcement system.
  • Set up a call line to help individuals make appointments and to serve as a resource to students and parents.
  • Involve the PTA and student leadership.
  • Host a townhall/Q&A session to educate parents and staff about immunizations. Use this form to make a request with LACDPH to provide education or speak at events.
  • Plan a teacher training at an in-service day or regular staff meeting to provide teachers immunization information and resources to provide messaging to students.
  • Plan a teacher training at an in-service day or regular staff meeting to provide teachers COVID-19 Vaccine information and resources to provide messaging to students.
  • Set up a school photo backdrop so students can take photos after receiving their vaccine.
  • Provide stickers that students can wear after getting their vaccine.
Creating a Flyer for Your SLV Clinic

Create a vaccine clinic flyer and begin sharing the flyer as early as possible. The flyer can be printed and posted on your school campus and shared digitally on social media, school website, and parent messaging platforms.

The following are key elements to include on your flyers:

  • Clinic location: School name, school location (gym, cafeteria, etc.), and street address
  • Date and time (include multiple dates or on-going schedule, if applicable)
  • List types of vaccines being offered and who is eligible
  • Registration information. If available include QR code or weblink (generated by vaccine provider) for appointments
  • State if event is open to the community and that walk-ins are accepted
  • State documents needed to bring such as ID, immunization record, insurance card, etc. Include other services offered, resources, and giveaways, if applicable
  • Optional elements: List name of vaccine provider, school logo, provider logo, etc.

Clinic flyer templates are available to download as PowerPoint files. They can be edited and customized for your SLV clinic events. To use the templates, click on the links.

Vaccine Clinic Flyer - Template 1
Vaccine Clinic Flyer - Template 2

Other clinic flyer templates can be found here – California Immunization Council

Sample Talking Points for Communications to Parents and School Community

Routine immunization:

  • Vaccinating children on the recommended schedule or catching up on vaccines strengthens their immune systems and protects them from potentially serious and life-threatening diseases
  • Routine vaccinations also protect other children, family, and the community.
  • Vaccination is an important tool to keep kids healthy, safe and in childcare and school.
  • It is safe to receive routine childhood vaccinations at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine or the flu vaccine.

School-required immunizations:

  • California schools are required to check immunization records for all new student admissions at TK/Kindergarten through 12th grade and all students advancing to 7th grade.
  • Parents must show their child’s Immunization Record as proof of immunization. Parents can access their child’s Digital Vaccine Record to find out what vaccines are overdue and to download an official immunization record of administered vaccines entered into the CA Immunization Registry (CAIR)
  • California immunization requirements for school can be found here.

Flu Vaccine:

  • Flu is more than a bad cold. Flu can lead to life-threatening illness, hospitalization or death.
  • The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to all get a flu vaccine every year.

COVID-19 Vaccine

  • COVID vaccine schedule will vary by age, vaccine, and which vaccines were previously received. To view the COVID-19 vaccine schedule, click here.
  • The vaccine reduces the risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, ending up in the hospital, or dying. It also lowers your risk of getting long-COVID.
  • Although studies have shown that COVID-19 in children can be mild, some children can become very ill or have long-lasting symptoms that affect their health and well-being in the long term.
Frequently Asked Questions

For assistance in finding a vaccine partner, contact the LACDPH School Support Team at 213-351-7800 or SchoolSupport@ph.lacounty.gov

Families that have health insurance can get routine immunizations from their health care provider. To refer families to no cost and low cost immunization providers, dial 2-1-1 (Los Angeles County Information Line) or click here for a list of immunization clinics. This interactive map can also be used to locate vaccine providers for no or low cost in LA County.

We recommend that planning start at least 3-4 weeks before the desired date of the clinic. This will allow you to have enough time to confirm details with partners and staff involved, promote the event, and help make your vaccine clinic a success!

Under the California School Immunization Law, children are required to received certain immunizations in order to attend childcare facilities, preschools, and public and private TK-12 schools. The lists of required immunizations can be found here.

The CDC recommends immunizations to protect the public’s health. Click here for the immunization schedules for children and adolescents.

Vaccine schedule will vary by age, vaccine, and which vaccines were previously received. View the COVID-19 vaccine schedule here.

Typically there is no direct cost to the school or school district to host a vaccine clinic, though the school may provide school personnel (volunteer or paid time) and other resources during the clinics such as water, snacks, or vaccine incentives. The vaccine provider will bring the vaccines and all the clinical supplies needed. If they are a VFC provider, immunizations are free for those that are eligible. Discuss with your vaccine partner options for people with insurance or who do not qualify for VFC.

Yes! This is a great strategy because it increases the visibility of the vaccine clinic and therefore more people will be able to access the vaccine. We have found that these vaccine events are more successful.

School vaccine clinics are usually held in a school cafeteria, auditorium, gym, or an outdoor area such as a section of the parking lot. Scheduling a site visit with your vaccine provider is very important in identifying the optimal vaccine clinic location at your school.

Written consent is allowable, but it is up to the host site and the vaccine provider to decide what will work best for the clinic.

See Resources section for information and resources for schools. To request additional support and training from LACDPH School Support Unit, submit this training request form.

Additional Vaccine Information and Resources

General resources:

For more information on immunization resources and vaccination access, please contact the LA County Department of Public Health school support unit at 213-351-7800 or SchoolSupport@ph.lacounty.gov

Interactive map to find free or low-cost vaccination sites in LA County

Lists (English and Spanish) for free and low cost immunization clinics

School Resources:

Parent Resources:

Flu Resources

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

Additional resources for parents are available on the COVID-19 Resources for Parents & Guardians webpage.

Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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