Forum to serve as a coronavirus vaccination distribution site

 The exterior of the Forum in Inglewood has been repainted.
Health officials hope to eventually distribute up to 4,000 coronavirus vaccinations a day at the Forum in Inglewood.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The Forum will serve as a coronavirus vaccine distribution site beginning Tuesday with the hope to eventually vaccinate more than 4,000 people per day at the Inglewood arena, county officials said Friday.

Kevin McGowan, the director of L.A. County’s Office of Emergency Management, said that the arena was chosen because of its location to draw people from across the region while also providing closer access in Inglewood, where 10,557 people have tested positive and 178 people have died from COVID-19, according to county health data.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer purchased the Forum for $400 million in cash in May from Madison Square Garden Co.


Capacity will slowly ramp up to its goal of 4,000 per day, McGowan said.

L.A. County races to vaccinate as many people as possible against the coronavirus before a strain thought to be even more contagious takes hold.

“There’s a great need for vaccination everywhere but based on infection impact and things like that, it’s in a location that serves an area that has a great need,” McGowan said. “In addition to it, it’s a large facility that has the ability to expand and contract based on supply and demand.”

The Forum will begin offering vaccines next week by appointment from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., though only frontline healthcare workers and residents at nursing facilities and other long-term care facilities are currently eligible.

McGowan said the site’s vaccine capacity will hinge on how many clinicians and administrative volunteers the county can recruit to work at the site.

The announcement comes days after the county, seeking to increase rates of vaccination, turned Dodger Stadium into a massive site for vaccinations. Yet while Dodger Stadium will accommodate that effort by no longer offering testing, the Forum will continue to act as a testing site, as well, with its capacity unaffected by the drive-through vaccine distribution that will take place in its parking lot, McGowan said.

“Testing is a critical function, and we want to maintain that function,” he said.