Project LIFE: Immunizing Children for School

August 29, 2005
Contact: News Office (415) 502-6397

UCSF Children's Hospital nurses are working together with the Mayor's Office and the Department of Public Health on a new project to ensure that children are immunized in time to start school.

Project LIFE, short for Let's Immunize for Education, is a pilot program from the Mayor's Office of Community Development's Project Connect initiative. The Mayor's Office hopes that the program will help increase the number of children receiving immunizations. If the successful, it will be used to link San Francisco's low-income children to immunizations in their own communities.

"We must protect our most vulnerable children," says Mayor Gavin Newsom. "The combination of low immunization rates for our youngest children and high school drop-out rates for our adolescents is an unacceptable confluence of factors, especially in a neighborhood where this administration is deeply committed to productive change."

The project focuses on children between the ages of 4 and 6 years old to ensure that their immunizations are current, thereby allowing them to enroll in kindergarten and first grade. Eleven and 12-year-olds can also get their tetanus booster. Additionally, tuberculosis (TB) testing will be available for children in these age groups that require the test. The clinics will take place at four schools in the target neighborhoods during the first week of school.

"Immunization is the single most important thing we can do to protect a child's health," says Roxanne Fernandes, executive director of UCSF Children's Hospital.

Immunization clinics begin Monday, Aug. 29 and continue through Thursday, Sept.1, at several San Francisco public schools. Clinics will be open from 8 a.m. until noon. On Tuesday, Aug. 30, the San Francisco 49ers mascot will make an appearance to help the children get over the anguish associated with shots.

Clinics will be open at the following San Francisco public schools:

  • Bret Harte, 1035 Gilman Ave.
  • Dr. George Washington Carver,1360 Oakdale Ave.
  • Malcolm X, 350 Harbor Rd.
  • Visitacion Valley Elementary, 55 Scherwin St.