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LA County: Northridge Hospital Violated Tier System By Vaccinating Teachers, School Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health says Northridge Hospital violated the county's tier system by vaccinating teachers against coronavirus before officials deemed them eligible.

"We want to be very clear that the eligible groups are healthcare providers and those 65 and older," said Dr. Paul Simon with the County's Department of Public Health.

Earlier this week, teachers at the Wesley School in North Hollywood received the vaccine, and CBS2/KCAL 9 learned some other schools, including OPH Catholic School, did the same.

"When we learned about this, we did inform the state. We did also inform the healthcare provider and they've assured us that it won't happen again," Simon said.

RELATED: North Hollywood Private School Staff Receive First Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine, Prompting Questions

The hospital said in a statement that it not only reached out to local public and private schools, but law enforcement agencies, in a good faith effort to give out its leftover vaccine.

"We realize that it was premature to schedule these appointments for individuals in group 1B before the county reached that point in its prioritization. When we were made aware that the county would not move on to vaccinate this group, we should have canceled these appointments," the hospital said. "In all, 14 schools and daycares responded and 164 teachers and staff members received the vaccine."

Among those vaccinated were four teachers at Our Lady of Perpetual Help school, which released the following statement:

"The safety and well-being of our school community is of utmost importance, especially during these challenging times. We are grateful to the Northridge Hospital Medical Center for offering COVID-19 vaccinations to four of our teachers."

Some public school parents have been outraged by perceived inequities in how the vaccine was given out.

"It makes me very angry. It's wrong, it's unethical," said LAUSD parent Jazmin Garcia, who lives in East L.A. with her daughter. "As our community has gone through this pandemic, it's been our community that's been the hardest hit, so it makes me angry that some folks can jump the line."

The county says teachers will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine in two to three weeks.

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