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Newsom: 'We're Going To Increase The Pace And Distribution' At New COVID Vaccination Super Sites

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Governor Gavin Newsom said in a press conference Friday that 1.18 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given out so far across California. But with new super sites emerging around Southern California, he said he wants to increase the pace and distribution of the vaccine.

"The reality is we need to get these vaccines out of the freezer and we need to get them into people's arms," Newsom said in a news conference at Dodger Stadium Friday.

The site opened its doors to give healthcare workers the COVID-19 vaccination Friday, vaccinating about 4,000 people by the end of day one with the help of the Los Angeles City Fire Department.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said once the stadium is fully up and running, 12,000 people will be able to receive vaccinations daily, making it one of the largest vaccination sites in the United States.

"[Dodger Stadium] will move us closer to a day we can't wait to wake up and hear about. A day when we record zero deaths here in Los Angeles, a day in which there are no more families devastated by this virus, a day when we say our economy is fully reopened, our children are back in school, we're hugging our loved ones," L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said alongside Gov. Gavin Newsom Friday.

But while Newsom has been calling for all seniors age 65 and older to begin receiving vaccinations in the state, there has been confusion at some sites still only offering the vaccine to healthcare workers.

"I called at least 12 people and we all showed up there and got it," said Lynelle George, who is over age 65 and got vaccinated in Lancaster Friday. "They didn't ask any questions they just put us through!"

Right now, appointments are only for healthcare workers at Dodger Stadium. The site will start vaccinating residents age 65 and older in the coming weeks.

"I would feel safer having it, but I'm not going to go to the malls or go to the market because I have the vaccine," said Esther Cohen, an L.A. resident.

Long Beach, which has its own health department, will start to vaccinate people age 65 and over Saturday.

Meanwhile, Riverside County started vaccinating people 65 and over Thursday.

Disneyland Resort in Anaheim is being used as Orange County's first large-scale COVID-19 vaccine site.

Currently, vaccinations at the sites are only available to Orange County residents or those who work in the county and meet the criteria for what is referred to as Phase 1A, all tiers. The group includes law enforcement first responders in high-risk communities and was recently expanded to include those age 75 and older.

A complete list of eligible groups can be found on the California Department of Public Health's website. More about the county's specific vaccination timeline can be found on the Orange County Health Care Agency's website.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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