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LA County COVID Vaccination Sites Focusing On Equity, Access

WILLOWBROOK (CBSLA) — More vaccine sites are opening up in Los Angeles County to help get shots to underserved communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Thank God for the vaccine," Gwendolyn Beck said.

She recently got her first dose of the vaccine and on Wednesday drove her brother to Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital to make sure he got his second dose.

"I would recommend it to everyone for their safety," she said.

And the hospital is hoping to make access easier for those eligible for the shot — including people 65 and older, education and childcare workers and those who work in the food industry — by offering walk-up vaccination appointments to those who live or work in South Los Angeles or Compton.

"What we're asking them to bring is the proof of identity," Tarick Jackson, the site administrator, said.

Vaccine equity is also the goal at Cal State Long Beach, where there are now two vaccine clinics on campus. This week, the clinic operated by Kaiser Permanente is focusing on getting educators vaccinated.

"I'm happy to say that I represent the city of Compton where we have teachers, educators who are now being inoculated," Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson) said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom got a brief tour of the site, which currently administers approximately 1,400 shots per day with room for more.

Newsom said he was hopeful that the addition of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine would soon allow counties to move through the tier system faster.

"We want to incorporate vaccination rates into the tiering, and that will allow people to move more quickly through the tiers," he said. "But we're not resetting the tiers."

California is currently in the first of three phases of its contract with Blue Shield to administer vaccines, though Newsom said sites, like the one in Long Beach, are grandfathered in to continue operating as vaccine availability expands.

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