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California Partners with Biden Administration to Open Community Vaccination Site in L.A.

Cars wait in line at a county-run vaccination site. | Photo courtesy of L.A. County on Facebook

California Governor Gavin Newsom and the Biden-Harris Administration announced Wednesday a pilot project to establish two new community vaccination sites, one in Los Angeles and another in Oakland.

These pilot sites, which will be based at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum and California State University, Los Angeles, are part of the effort to establish 100 vaccination sites nationwide in the federal administration’s first 100 days. The sites will be co-run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of California through the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).

“In the fight against COVID-19, partnership is key, especially when it comes to reaching Californians in underserved areas,” Newsom said. “These new sites will help us get available supply to some of the California communities most in need. I thank the Biden Administration for standing with us as we continue our efforts to safely, swiftly and equitably vaccinate all Californians.”

FEMA will provide resources and federal staffing support to establish these new community vaccination centers as well as operational support.

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis welcomed the news.

“Our county and in particular our Latinx residents have been absolutely devastated by COVID-19,” Solis said in a statement. “Establishing this large scale federal-state community vaccination center on the Cal State LA campus, in the heart of Los Angeles County and in a hard-hit community, is a welcome signal that we are ramping up at the federal, state and local level with the practical, boots-on-the-ground solutions we need to put an end to this deadly pandemic.”

The new site will increase capacity by thousands of vaccinations a day, she said.

Each of these new sites will be paired with two mobile vaccination clinics which can be deployed to multiple locations.

“We are also appreciative for the two mobile units that will be deployed — which can integrate with our public health teams to reach vulnerable residents throughout the county,” Solis said.

Preparations and buildout of these two locations are now underway and the sites are expected to be open to eligible members of the public beginning Feb. 16. Registration for vaccine appointments at these two sites will be available through the state’s MyTurn scheduling system in the coming days.

To facilitate access for residents who depend on public transportation, Solis on Tuesday will ask the Board of Supervisors to approve a plan “to partner with transit agencies and also use the county’s own bus system.”

The State of California is coordinating with FEMA to ensure the vaccine doses used at these sites will not decrease the available supply for other sites in the hosting counties.

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