LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Dodger Stadium coronavirus vaccination super site, one of the largest in the nation, will likely close by late May, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti indicated Friday morning.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office said in a news release on Friday morning that the site “will wind down operations by the end of May.”READ MORE: LA County Updates Mask Mandate To Allow Fully Vaccinated People To Go Unmasked Outdoors
He noted that the number of doses being offered by the city will not change, but instead be redistributed to walk-up centers and mobile clinics.
The Dodger Stadium site has administered at least 420,000 vaccine doses since it opened in January. It also served as a coronavirus testing site beginning in May of 2020.
Long lines of cars weaving through stadiums and parking lots across Southern California may soon be a thing of the past.
“You really do have to make it convenient, and the best way to do that is to meet people where they live, work, worship and play and where they go to school,” said Dr. Jerry Abraham, Director of Kedren Vaccines South Los Angeles. “We’ve gone through the garment district, we’ve gone through food processing—meat processing plants, we’ve gone to bars and restaurants, we’ve gone to many churches.”
According to the latest county numbers, just under four million Los Angeles County residents, or 48% of Angelenos age 16 and older, have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 29.6% of those eligible have received both doses.
People can get vaccinated through L.A. city and county-run sites, along with private providers such as pharmacies and health insurance companies, which receive doses directly from the federal government.
Meanwhile, appointments will not be required Friday and Saturday at the L.A. city-run vaccine super sites located at Pierce College and Lincoln Park. Next week, USC, Cal State LA, Southwest College and San Fernando Park will follow suit and also begin accepting walk-ins without appointments, as will the city’s 10 mobile clinics.READ MORE: Thousands In Los Angeles County Overdue For Second Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine
On Thursday, L.A. County Public Health Department reported that the number of people getting their first COVID-19 vaccination at L.A. County-run sites dropped significantly over the past week, marking the first such drop and leading to more calls for people get the shots and propel the county toward a return to normalcy.
L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer on Thursday did not have the exact number of appointments that went unfilled over the past week, but said county-operated vaccination sites saw sharp drops in people coming in for their first dose.
“We’ve seen a significant drop here in L.A. County with people getting vaccinated, and it’s very worrisome. Very worrisome,” Ferrer said. “This would not be the time to sort of lose momentum on vaccinations. … Overall, almost all of the providers have said they had appointments that did not get filled this week. Some had a few, some had a lot. At our county sites, we’re down at least 50% at all of our county sites in terms of filling appointments.”
That means the county, for the first time, will likely fall short of its goal of administering 95% of the doses it receives within one week.
As of Friday, almost half of eligible residents in L.A. County have had at least one dose, and 30% are fully vaccinated.
Epidemiologists are worried about people skipping out on their second dose, which doesn’t provide full protection against coronavirus.
“Folks may need to work they may have a hard time getting time off, but it really needs to be reiterated how important it is to get those two doses because if they don’t get those two doses they’re not completely protected,” said Dr. Rita Burke, Keck School of Medicine of USC.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)