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Beginning Monday, L.A. will offer appointment-free COVID-19 vaccinations

A medical student from Dartmouth University loads a syringe with Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
Liesl Eibschutz, a medical student from Dartmouth University, loads a syringe with Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Kedren Health in Los Angeles last month.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Appointments are no longer needed for Angelenos to get COVID-19 vaccinations at any site run by the city, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Sunday.

“We stand at a critical juncture in our fight to end this pandemic, and our City will keep doing everything possible to knock down barriers to vaccine access and deliver doses directly to all Angelenos,” Garcetti said in a statement.

The move is intended to give people who don’t have the time or technological resources to navigate online booking platforms a chance to get the shot. Vaccinations are free.

It comes a week after the city stopped requiring appointments for some walk-up and mobile locations. Now, appointment-free options are also available at the city’s drive-through sites — the Crenshaw Christian Center, Hansen Dam and Dodger Stadium — which are open Monday through Saturday. People can still sign up ahead of time if they prefer.

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The city is prepared to give out about 255,000 shots this week and expects to receive 42,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, 54,000 of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 27,000 of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, officials said.

The city has also extended the hours of vaccination sites at Pierce College and L.A. Southwest College from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. so that more people can get shots after work. A third night clinic is being added at Green Meadows Recreation Center in South L.A. this week and will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., the city announced.

At the city’s first night clinic last week, 62% of first doses were given out after 2 p.m., Garcetti’s office said in a news release.

Mobile teams, which have administered 105,298 doses of vaccine so far, will this week visit Glassell Park, Arleta, Sylmar, Chesterfield Square, Green Meadows, Boyle Heights, North Hollywood, San Pedro, Wilmington and Canoga Park.

So far, 48.7% of L.A. County residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 35.4% are fully vaccinated, according to The Times’ vaccination tracker.

Officials have said that demand for COVID-19 vaccines has waned after an initial surge of interest, as most people who wanted the vaccine and had the time and resources to pursue it have already received at least one shot.

Orange County announced it will close its four biggest vaccination centers in early June, and the city of Los Angeles will shut down the vaccine site at Dodger Stadium, one of the biggest in the country, at the end of May.

Getting the remainder of the population vaccinated will be harder, authorities say, and focus needs to be on lower-income populations and vulnerable people who are unable to drive long distances or have limited time to get a shot.

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On Sunday, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department reported 248 new coronavirus cases and five related deaths. Officials cautioned that such low numbers, though reflective of a continuing decline in overall cases in recent weeks, may be due to weekend reporting delays.

Despite the encouraging trends, county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer urged everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“While transmission is low and we continue to see declines in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, we are approaching the terrible milestone of 24,000 COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County,” she said. “There continues to be higher risk of COVID-19 transmission and severe health outcomes among unvaccinated people. Please get vaccinated as soon as you can.”

Local health officials across California say they still need to do more to improve access to the vaccines, such as conducting more at-home vaccination visits and offering transportation to vaccine sites.

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Times staff writer Rong-Gong Lin II contributed to this report.


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