LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A COVID-19 vaccination site established in a partnership between the federal government and the state will open today at Cal State Los Angeles, one of two in the state and the first phase of an effort expected to spread to 100 sites across the nation.
The CSULA site -- along with a similar site at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum -- will be co-run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state of California through the governor's Office of Emergency Services.
The site is expected to have an ultimate capacity of administering 6,000 doses per day, although it was unclear how many doses the facility would initially be allocated. Shortages in supply have hampered vaccination efforts at county- and city-operated sites.
A team of more than 200 soldiers arrived in the Los Angeles area last week to help staff the vaccination site. The team was deployed from Fort Carson in Colorado.
Gov. Gavin Newsom hailed the partnership with the federal government earlier this month, calling it a critical step in improving the speed and efficiency of administering vaccines, particularly in traditionally under-served communities.
“Equity is the call of this moment,” Newsom said. “The reason this site was chosen was the framework of making sure communities that are often left behind are not left behind, but prioritized in terms of the administration of these vaccines. As a consequence, we are blessed not only by the announcement of this partnership with the Biden administration but their full federal support in terms of their allocation of the resources to help us move forward with the distribution of these vaccines.”
Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton said the two California sites are “perfect examples of how FEMA is working around the clock to support state-led, federally supported vaccine delivery.”
FEMA will provide resources and federal staffing support, as well as operational support.
“Cal State L.A. is ready to work with President Joe Biden, Gov. Gavin Newsom and their administrations to provide badly needed vaccinations,” said Jose Gomez, the university's executive vice president and provost. “Our students and alumni live in communities with some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates per capita in Los Angeles County.”
Officials said the two California locations were chosen because they're in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and are home to essential workers who have borne the brunt of keeping the economy open over the past year.
“We are grateful to President Biden and Governor Newsom for marshaling federal and state resources to significantly increase our ability to vaccinate our residents in Los Angeles County,” said Hilda Solis, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
“Our county and in particular our Latinx residents have been absolutely devastated by COVID-19. Establishing this large scale federal-state community vaccination center on the Cal State L.A. 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.”
Metrolink is offering a direct connection to the site. Metrolink's Cal State LA Station is on the San Bernardino Line. Riders can reach the walk-up vaccination location by taking the elevator or stairs from the train platform to the university transit center and following directional signs to Structure A. Shuttles will take people from the transit center to the vaccination site.
“With a county this size, offering transportation options to vaccination sites is critical,” said Solis, a Metrolink board member. “... I am grateful that Metrolink will serve as a vital and accessible link for so many of our residents who rely on public transportation.”
Registration for vaccine appointments at the Cal State L.A. site will be available at https://myturn.ca.gov/.