LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A new COVID-19 vaccination site run by the city of Los Angeles opened at USC Tuesday.
The site, located in a seven-story parking garage on the edge of Exposition Park, will be capable of vaccinating up to 5,000 people per day. It was specifically placed near the Expo Park Metro station for easy access, Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week.
The hope is the new USC vaccination site will be able to reach vulnerable South L.A. communities.
It will provide both drive-up and walk-up patients. Appointments are required and can be made here. At this time, healthcare workers, people over age 65, teachers, emergency responders and law enforcement personnel are among those eligible for the vaccine.
Garcetti said the city has partnered with rideshare company Uber to provide 15,000 free rides to the site for South L.A. residents and another 20,000 half-priced rides to help facilitate better access for Angelenos without cars.
Officials in California and L.A. County have been making a discerned effort to vaccinate communities which have been hard-hit by the coronavirus.
Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state will begin setting aside 40% of all vaccine doses for the state's most vulnerable communities.
With that goal in mind, a new COVID-19 mobile vaccine unit also launched Friday in Southeast L.A.
Furthermore, California officials last week disclosed that once two million at risk people are vaccinated statewide, the threshold for counties to move from the purple to red tier of the COVID-19 recovery roadmap will be eased.
"As soon as that happens, L.A. County I think will be moved into the red tier, because our numbers were low last week, they were at seven (daily new cases per 100,000), and I anticipate they will be at seven new cases or lower this week," L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said Monday. "Two weeks of qualifying metrics then allows the state to move that county into the red tier."
Ferrer said that 55% of the new vaccine doses received this week will go to highly impacted areas.
L.A. County was expected to receive 312,000 doses this week — the largest weekly shipment to date — that would include 53,700 doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
At least 2.5 million people in L.A. County have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
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