Five large COVID-19 vaccination sites are slated to open next week in Los Angeles County as public health officials accelerate preparations for an expected surge in demand following this week’s expansion of the vaccine eligibility list to residents 65 and older.
The sites are Pomona Fairplex, the Forum in Inglewood, Cal State Northridge, L.A. County Office of Education in Downey and Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia.
The openings come at a crucial time. Though residents 65 and older are now on the vaccine priority list, they cannot actually receive the shots until the county first vaccinates some 500,000 healthcare workers. Officials hope to achieve that goal by the end of the month.
“In L.A. County we have to vaccinate 10 million people, twice,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “These large-scale vaccination sites are going to help us get there by massively increasing our capacity to vaccinate people quickly and efficiently.”
Each site is expected to vaccinate 4,000 people a day. Appointments and proof of employment in the healthcare industry will be required to get the shot, the county said. The five sites are expected to remain open for at least four weeks. They are run separately from the city’s Dodger Stadium vaccine site.
Uncertainty remains over whether the county will receive sufficient doses to meet its goals.
“We’re not done with our healthcare workers,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday, adding that the county has asked the state for more doses. “We haven’t heard back from the state about vaccine availability and how it would be distributed.”
The need for more vaccine has been echoed in other counties. To date, the state has received more than 2.9 million vaccine doses and has administered less than one-third.