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Vaccine appointments open up in Chinatown and East L.A. as city expands eligibility

A woman peers at a syringe.
Medical assistant Adrian Davis checks for air bubbles in a syringe before giving a COVID-19 vaccine at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center in Los Angeles on April 9.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles residents this week will have several new options for obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine, including a new clinic in Chinatown and a site in East Los Angeles offering doses without appointments Monday.

The latest developments come on the heels of the city’s announcement that residents 16 and older are eligible for a vaccine at city-run sites beginning Tuesday.

The Chinatown site, at 711 W. College St., is slated to open Monday in partnership with Chinatown Service Center and CORE. The site will operate five days a week and is expected to administer 500 to 800 doses per day, depending on supplies, officials said.

It will make use of a hybrid format of appointments and walk-ups to ensure that residents 65 and older have equitable access to the vaccine.

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“This is part of our effort with L.A. County to ensure that there is more equitable distribution, because right now we know that Chinatown’s population 65-plus is behind the curve in terms of who has access to the vaccine,” L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis said during the site’s launch Monday.

Connie Chung Joe, chief executive of civil rights group Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles, said many members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community “fear leaving their home at this time because of the rise in anti-Asian attacks,” and noted that language, technology and transportation have been barriers for vaccinating the community.

“We need to be vigilant to ensure that our most vulnerable community members do not fall through the cracks,” she said. “Chinatown Service Center is a trusted community partner providing this vital benefit here right in the heart of Chinatown, where community members can come and feel safe when they get vaccinated.”

The Center for Family Health and Education also will offer walk-up shots Monday at East Los Angeles College to residents without appointments. Nearly 1,000 first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to the center’s chief financial officer, Cesar Landeros.

The site is at 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez in Monterey Park, “an area where the vaccination disparities continue to affect minorities,” Landeros said.

Monterey Park has a large Asian and Latino population — both groups that have been underrepresented in the state’s vaccine efforts. Roughly 17% of L.A. County’s Asian population and 28% of L.A. County’s Latino population have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“We have noticed that there are a lot of neighborhoods throughout L.A. County that have struggled with getting the vaccine,” Landeros said Monday, noting that the pop-up event is intended to help provide doses to people who may not have access to the internet or to a vehicle, or who are unable to go to a mega-site farther away.

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The nonprofit group also has locations in Panorama City, Northridge, El Monte, Inglewood and Long Beach.

“We have seen a tremendous amount of relief from the community,” he said of the local clinics.

In Los Angeles, appointments are available through several sites, including the state’s My Turn system and the city’s Carbon Health site. Appointments at clinics operated by the Center for Family Health and Education are also available directly through their website.

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To date, more than 4.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in L.A. County. All COVID-19 vaccines are free regardless of immigration or health insurance status.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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