FEMA Opens First Mass Vaccination Sites

Sites have opened in LA, Oakland
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 16, 2021 2:30 PM CST
FEMA Opens First Mass Vaccination Sites
Members of the National Guard help motorists check in at a federally-run COVID-19 vaccination site set up on the campus of California State University of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

FEMA opened its first COVID-19 mass vaccination sites Tuesday, setting up in Los Angeles and Oakland as part of an effort by the Biden administration to get shots into arms more quickly. Snowy and icy weather across much of the US, however, forced the cancellation of some vaccination events and threatened to disrupt vaccine deliveries over the next few days, the AP reports. Houston's public health agency lost power and had to scramble to give out thousands of shots before they spoiled. The developments came as the vaccination drive ramps up. The US is administering an average of about 1.67 million doses per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the same time, deaths are down sharply over the past six weeks, and new cases have plummeted.

In the early morning in Los Angeles, several dozen cars were already lined up a half-hour before the 9am opening of the country’s first mass vaccination site run with assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Troops in camouflage fatigues stood around the sprawling parking lot at Cal State Los Angeles, where some 40 white tents were set up. Dozens of orange cones lined the lot to guide traffic. The site, set up in heavily Latino East LA as part of an effort by the Biden administration to reach communities that have suffered disproportionately from the outbreak, aims to vaccinate up to 6,000 people a day. Another such site opened in Oakland. Nearly 38.3 million Americans, or close to 12% of the US population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 14 million have received both shots, the CDC says

(Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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