LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Biden administration announced a pilot project Wednesday that will establish community COVID-19 vaccination sites in Los Angeles and Oakland.
The pilot sites are part of the wider effort to establish 100 vaccination sites nationwide in the Biden administration's first 100 days. The Cal State Los Angeles 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.
Newsom, speaking at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Wednesday morning, hailed the partnership as 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."
He said he hopes the sites are able to administer 6,000 doses per day, noting that the sites will also create some job opportunities for local residents.
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. Today's announcement is a significant step forward in the ongoing effort to ensure every American who wants a vaccine will receive a vaccine."
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."
Preparations for both locations is underway and the sites are expected to be open to eligible members of the public beginning Feb. 16. Registration for vaccine appointments at the sites will be available at https://myturn.ca.gov.