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La Mesa 'End of Summer Palooza' aims to get families vaccinated, ready for school

Posted at 11:19 AM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 10:47:47-04

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) — This week, Grossmont Healthcare District is hosting a three-day "End of Summer Palooza" event in La Mesa aimed at helping families get ready to go back to school this fall and to boost the community's defense against COVID-19.

Wednesday, the city is offering doses of the Pfizer vaccine to members of the public 12 and older, with no pre-registration required. Booths set up outdoors at Briercrest Park in La Mesa on this hot August day offered balloon animals and crafts for the kids, and information and resources for families.

The event also includes a food drive for the community, and plenty of cold water being handed out to members of the public who came for activities or to get vaccinated.

"We're giving away prizes each day and primarily we're just out here to celebrate East County health and get families healthy and ready to learn before the school year begins," says Erica Salcuni with Grossmont Healthcare District, which is hosting the event.

Tuesday saw popular free backpack and school supplies giveaways. Salcuni says they had more than 100 families in the first hour on Tuesday.

Part of getting healthy, she says, is getting doses into the arms of as many people as possible to strengthen the community's defense against the virus.

"While there isn't a vaccine available for the little ones, we're still able to help some of our community members get vaccinated, since the virus is continuing to spread primarily among those who are unvaccinated," Salcuni adds.

No sign-up or pre-registration is required to get the Pfizer shot. Family Health Centers of San Diego is giving out the vaccines from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Thursday is the last day of the event. They'll partner with the YMCA for crafts and family fun activities.

As for the second doses depending on the turnout, they'll either offer an event to give out the second dose right here at the Grossmont Healthcare District in La Mesa or connect people with Family Health Centers of San Diego directly to get a second appointment at one of the clinics around the East County.