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Getting the COVID-19 vaccine has never been easier. Here’s how

A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccination.
Christine Im receives a COVID-19 vaccination from a student registered nurse at a walk-up mobile vaccination site in Los Angeles.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

It’s never been easier to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Los Angeles County and elsewhere.

Officials are hoping people who have not gotten their shots will take advantage of the opportunity at a time when demand for vaccinations is dropping.

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. Now that a vaccine has been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for youth ages 12 to 15, that number will likely increase.

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 already have received at least one shot.

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To keep COVID-19 vaccine levels low, officials said they need more people to get vaccinated.

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.

Here are the basics:

No appointments needed in L.A.

Appointments are no longer needed for Angelenos to get COVID-19 vaccinations at any site run by the city.

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.

The move 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.

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 also has 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.

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At the city’s first night clinic last week, 62% of first doses were given out after 2 p.m., according to a news release from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office.

Mobile teams, which have administered 105,298 doses of vaccine, are planning visits this week to Glassell Park, Arleta, Sylmar, Chesterfield Square, Green Meadows, Boyle Heights, North Hollywood, San Pedro, Wilmington and Canoga Park.

California is hiring 2,000 canvassers to phone-bank and knock on doors, and is running a flurry of ads and testimonials about COVID-19 vaccines.

Some sites coming

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

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Los Angeles County has four other mass vaccination sites, and they will remain open for the foreseeable future. Officials said they may want to continue using them to vaccinate youths ages 12 to 15 if the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for that group.

The county said it will offer the vaccine to children ages 12 to 15 once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention affirms the FDA’s recommendation, which could happen as early as Wednesday. Those under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to receive the vaccine.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said some strategies are being planned to make the vaccine easier to access. Most people who really wanted the vaccine have already received it, she said.

“What’s left are people who may not have either the time or the energy or the wherewithal to carve that time out of their schedules and make it to one of our vaccination sites.”

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In Orange County, the demand for first doses has dropped by over 75% since the end of April, officials said in announcing that mass vaccination sites at the Anaheim Convention Center, OC Fair & Event Center, Soka University and Santa Ana College will close June 6. The last first-dose Moderna appointments will be offered Saturday, and the last first-dose Pfizer appointments will be offered May 15.

That announcement came a day after officials decided to close the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum mass vaccination site on May 23. Requests for first doses have dropped from 4,000 a day to 400, according to the Alameda County Public Health Agency. Focus on vaccine distribution will shift to smaller clinics.

“We do need to work harder to ensure that there’s good information and easy access to vaccinations for our younger people,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.

Racial disparities

Young Latino and Black people have the lowest rate of COVID-19 vaccination among any other age, racial and ethnic group in Los Angeles County — and officials say they need to do more to make the shots easy and convenient for more people.

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Only 18% of Black men and 20% of Black women between the ages of 16 and 29 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, county officials said Thursday. In the Latino community, the numbers are also low, with 24% of men and 31% of women between 16 and 29 receiving at least one dose.

By comparison, 43% of white men and 51% of white women within the same age group have received a dose, as have 57% of Asian American men and 65% of Asian American women, and 43% of Native American men and 53% of Native American women.


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