Wave Wire Services
LOS ANGELES — After administering more than 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the large-scale vaccination site at Cal State Los Angeles will cease operations on April 11, federal and state officials managing the location have announced.
But Los Angeles County’s chief science officer said planning is already underway on efforts to keep the site operating when the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Governor’s Office of Emergency Services conclude their work.
Dr. Paul Simon said the county could take over the site, or possibly the city of Los Angeles or another vaccine provider. The large site could also be broken into some “smaller community sites,” he said.
“We recognize it’s a really important site,” Simon said. “We in no way want to scale back vaccination infrastructure. We’re fairly confident we’re going to be getting increased supplies of vaccine and so we want to be well-prepared to deliver it swiftly.”
The location was opened in February as an eight-week pilot project, marking a cooperative effort between the state and federal government targeting lower-income areas hard hit by the pandemic. The partnership included two vaccination sites — one at Cal State Los Angeles and the other in Oakland.
The two sites combined have administered about 445,000 doses of vaccine since they opened. The Los Angeles site had doled out roughly 215,000 doses as of March 23.
FEMA and state officials said roughly two-thirds of the shots administered at the sites have been to under-served communities and people of color.
“In the fight against COVID-19, equity is key,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “This pilot program has shown the rest of the nation a forward-leaning way to serve our communities most in need.
“We could not be more pleased with the success of these sites or the partnership we have built with our federal partners.”
With the operations winding down, the site this week is completing the administration of second doses of the Pfizer vaccines to people who had already received their initial dose. Beginning April 1, the site will be administering only the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Appointment slots for those doses will be released daily beginning April 1 through the state’s MyTurn web portal, or by calling (833) 422-4255.