A pilot project will establish a community COVID-19 vaccination site at Cal State Los Angeles, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Biden administration announced Wednesday.
The pilot site is 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.
Preparations for both locations are underway and the sites are expected to be open to eligible members of the public beginning Feb. 16. Registration for vaccine appointments at the Cal State L.A. site will be available here.
"In the fight against COVID-19, partnership is key, especially when it comes to reaching Californians in underserved areas,'' Newsom said. "These new sites will help us get available supply to some of the California communities most in need. I thank the Biden administration for standing with us as we continue our efforts to safely, swiftly and equitably vaccinate all Californians.''
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.
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, officials said.
After a deadly, months-long coronavirus surge, California is starting to see infection and hospitalization rates fall even as the state struggles to ramp up a chaotic vaccination program and warns people to keep up their guard.
The number of new virus cases reported Tuesday was just over 12,000, the lowest daily figure since November. In early January, daily counts routinely were above 40,000.
How Coronavirus Has Grown in Each State — in 1 Chart
This chart shows the cumulative number of cases per state by number of days since the 50th case.
Source: The COVID Tracking Project
Credit: Amy O’Kruk/NBC
The state has administered more than 3.5 million vaccine doses, significantly boosting the daily number of shots it was giving out just weeks ago, health officials said. But California still lags other U.S. states in vaccinations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and desperate residents report ongoing problems trying to schedule an appointment as state officials attempt to craft a system that protects the most vulnerable.
Officials made the major announcement last week that the state was creating a new, centralized vaccine distribution system led by Blue Shield, the insurance giant. But a letter of intent signed by the state and the company released Monday shows the specifics of the program are still being developed even as state officials had said they hoped to transition to the new system in mid-February.
The state has authorized health workers, teachers, food and agriculture employees, other first responders and people 65 and older to be inoculated. In a surprise move last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state would next move to an age-based system, outraging, among others, people with disabilities who had been earlier in line.