LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to shut down two mass vaccination sites in California next month, just days before the state gets the right to shoot every 16-year-old or older.
The two sites in Auckland, Los Angeles, opened in February for an eight-week pilot program that ends April 15. Websites will switch from Pfizer to son onson և John onson vaccines, which require just one shot in the last two weeks. action so that people do not have to register the second dose elsewhere.
State officials said they would like the program to continue, even though it provided a small portion of the total staff in California. Each site was designed to vaccinate 6,000 people a day, but they shot up to 7,500 a day, according to the State Emergency Service. Because the sites are managed federally, those shots are separate from California’s total weekly allocation, which now stands at about 1.8 million shots per week.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday that the state would allow those over the age of 16 to be eligible for the vaccine from April 15. At the moment, people over 65, are eligible, young people with certain health conditions և farmers, teachers և a number of other occupations. The state is expecting a much larger dose soon.
The two sites together accounted for half a million shares, with about 67% going to vulnerable communities of colored people, according to the OES.
Agency spokesman Brian Ferguson said the state is working with Los Angeles և Alameda to see if they can continue to use the Auckland Coliseum վայր Los Angeles California State University locations. The state asked for the program to be extended, but it was not granted.
“We are clear that California is ready to continue its mission if further funding for vaccines is provided by the federal government,” he said.
Los Angeles County և city officials are discussing some way to maintain the site, said Dr. Paul Simon, Los Angeles County Director of Science.
“Although we are disappointed, we understand,” he said of the site’s closure.
It is not yet decided whether the university will remain a site or whether its vaccines will be distributed to smaller communities.
“We realize this is a very powerful site,” said Simon, adding that officials did not want to change the vaccine infrastructure because it provided more traffic.
Representatives of the Alameda County Public Health Department, Auckland Mayor Libby Schaff, and Alameda County Board of Governors Chairman Keith Carson did not respond to requests for comment on the Oakland site closure.
Frank Manchel, FEMA spokesman, said that while the sites may continue to operate for some time, the special dose distribution will not continue after April 15. The closure of California sites does not mean other sites will open, he said.
California Public Health Department spokesman Sami Galegos said California will continue to pursue its just cause through other sites. The state has reserved 40% of all doses for people living in low-income neighborhoods, many of whom have been vaccinated on two federal sites. The state has more than 2,000 vaccine sites, he said.
“California’s commitment to justice is so much more than just two vaccine sites,” he said.
Associated Press writer Adam Beam contributed from Sacramento.