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EASTSIDE : Free Vaccinations to Be Offered

March 20, 1994|MARY ANNE PEREZ

The Mothers of East Los Angeles will again be knocking on doors Saturday morning to alert families to free vaccinations and tuberculosis tests.

In a partnership program with White Memorial Medical Center, the group is in the middle of a three-month campaign to immunize as many children as possible.

The group has gone door to door twice in the last two months in Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights and El Sereno, bringing an average of 40 people per day to the hospital for immunizations against childhood illnesses, such as measles, mumps and rubella.

The effort is a partnership between the group and the hospital's Building a Healthier Community program, which has appointed a task force of local school, church, business and neighborhood leaders to improve the health of the community, said director Socorro Macias.

"According to county statistics, 34% of Latinos are immunized," Macias said. "We're reaching out to our community to get them where they should be. There's no reason we can't have 90% or 100% immunized."

Groups will canvass neighborhoods again April 9 and 23. The hospital, at 1720 Brooklyn Ave., will give free immunizations to anyone on those days.

The Mothers of East Los Angeles have taken on the community service project to help families who may not know about the service, said Juana Gutierrez, president of the Santa Isabel chapter. The group provides transportation to families who do not have transportation to White Memorial.

"Many mothers haven't started (their children's immunizations) and they don't know how serious it is," Gutierrez said.

The hospital's task force program identifies the community's most critical needs, assesses the available resources and creates programs to meet those needs. The immunization program is its first project in what members hope is a yearlong series of projects to improve residents' health, Macias said.

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