First mass vaccination site staffed by active duty service members opens at Cal State LA
LOS ANGELES - A new COVID-19 vaccine site, part of a joint effort between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the governor's Office of Emergency Services, opened Tuesday at Cal State Los Angeles.
It is the first vaccination super site staffed by active duty service men and women.
The community-focused site is able to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day for both drive-thru and walk-up appointments and will also deploy a mobile clinic that will visit local community centers and schools.
For LaTanga Hopes, what’s happening is personal. She’s had friends who have gotten COVID-19 and a cousin who died from it. Hopes also works for FEMA.
On Monday, she got her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine here as everyone at the site prepared for its big opening for the general public on Tuesday.
Hopes says getting the first shot was a relief.
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Part of President Biden’s goal was to open 100 federally-supported vaccination sites in his first 100 days. The most important feature here is that it’s close to people and communities that otherwise may not be getting vaccinated.
Brian Ferguson with the California Office of Emergency Services says, on this day they gave about 1,000 shots. Starting Tuesday, it will be 6,000 seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Those coming to the site will first be greeted and checked by a contingent of soldiers.
Lt. Col. Charles Calio says there are 220 from Fort Carson in Colorado as well as the California Army and the Air National Guard.
The drive-thru is similar to Dodger Stadium with the lines and tents, but there’s a difference, according to Veronica Verde with FEMA.
Verde says, "... not only do we have a drive-thru site but also a walk-up site for individuals who want to take a bus or take a Metro here and get the vaccine."
Preparations for both locations are underway and the sites are expected to be open to eligible members of the public this week.
Registration for vaccine appointments at the Cal State L.A. site will be available at https://myturn.ca.gov.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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