In a partnership between California and the Biden-Harris administration, a COVID-19 vaccination site had its grand opening at California State University, Los Angeles, Tuesday.
The vaccination site will be run by both the state of California and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with the capacity to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day with the Pfizer vaccine.
“Starting today, communities that are among the hardest hit by the pandemic are coming here to Cal State L.A. for vaccinations,” Cal State L.A. President William Covino said, Tuesday. “That’s precisely the role that the university should play during this challenging time— standing with those at the center of the battle against COVID-19, directing our university’s resources, our innovation, our energy for the public good.”
All hands on deck! @Cal_OES and @fema coordinating on tomorrow’s opening of the large scale community-based #COVID19 vaccination site. Check eligibility and register for an appointment at https://t.co/oBmSONzhlq! #vaccines pic.twitter.com/o5Jpb0JFVr
— Cal OES (@Cal_OES) February 15, 2021
State, federal and local officials spoke on the placement of the site specifically targeting Los Angeles communities that have been hit hard, such as Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles, turning the focus to minority residents.
“Too many people are living a nightmare, not just of this year … but they’re living that fear right now, ‘Will I ever get my turn,'” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Today what the state of California… are saying that we will put our feet on the ground in a community that has seen this burn like a fire.”
Supervisor Hilda Solis spoke about the residents in “vulnerable communities” averaging 36 COVID-19 related deaths per day, out of 100,000 residents.
“Those in more affluent areas were only expeirencing about 10 deaths per day, per 100,000 residents,” Solis said. “Around the same time, our Latinx residents were dying at eight times the rate.”
Solis also noted that about 30 percent of L.A. County residents age 65 and older have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Of those vaccinated 20% are Black and 26% are of Latinx descent,.
“It’s not enough just to have a vaccine site in a hard pressed community,” Solis added. “The hard work is making sure that the surrounding communities have access to this site and that we also meet them where the need is greatest.”
AS far as the effort to go into the communities, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that along with this new site will be two mobile sites.
On the effort of mobile sites, Mayor Garcetti added that while low percentages of the vaccine in California and Los Angeles have gone to minorities, the mobile sites have seen that “90% are going to people of color.”
Newsom also noted that the state is planning to receive 1.28 million doses of the vaccine this week and 1.31 million next week.
” None of these vaccines come from the state allocation,” Newsom said. “This is separate and above. This doesn’t impact our pharmacy partnership… or the community clinics… those are separate and above.”
As he has for weeks, Garcetti iterated the city of Los Angeles has to capability to administer 50,000 vaccines per day, but are not getting enough doses.
“Give us the supply, we’ll be done by July,” Garcetti said.
Appointments for the CSULA site can be made on the “My Turn” website.