Having already successfully administered almost a half million vaccinations to Californians to protect against COVID-19, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services ( Cal OES ) and Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA ) announced the completion of the life-saving, eight-week mission on Sunday, April 11.
In mid-February, the Biden-Harris Administration approved a pilot project to establish Community Vaccination Centers based at the RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland and Cal State LA campus with a capacity to vaccinate approximately 6,000 individuals a day at each site for eight weeks. The sites have outpaced that initial expectation and regularly administer more than 7,500 shots per day.
Nearly 67 percent of vaccines were administered to targeted underserved communities and people of color. “In the fight against COVID-19, equity is key. This pilot program has shown the rest of the nation a forward-leaning way to serve our communities most in need,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “We could not be more pleased with the success of these sites or the partnership we have built with our federal partners.”
“This partnership has been a tremendous success and shows what can happen when all levels of government come together to meet a challenge that has affected this state, the nation and the world,” said FEMA Region 9 Acting Administrator Tammy Littrell. “Beyond just providing vaccinations, this effort is helping to reopen schools, businesses and communities,” Further, to maximize the number of individuals served over the final two weeks of the mission, the two agencies will begin providing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to new patients at the jointly operated Community Vaccination Centers (CVC) beginning April 1.
Until April 1, the sites will continue to administer Pfizer second dose vaccinations to individuals who previously received their first dose at either the main Community Vaccination Centers or at the Mobile Vaccination Clinics operated in conjunction with these sites. Johnson & Johnson is a single-dose vaccine as compared to the two doses required for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. California’s top health officials unanimously agree that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and effective. These joint federal pilot sites have helped expand the rate of vaccinations in California in an efficient, effective and equitable manner, with an explicit focus on making sure that communities with a high risk of COVID-19 exposure and infection are not left behind. These two locations were chosen since they are in some of the most diverse and socioeconomically challenged communities in the country. These communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and are home to essential workers who have borne the brunt of keeping the economy open over the past year.
In order to continue serving the communities following the completion of the state/federal mission on April 11, Cal OES and FEMA are coordinating closely with local officials on the possibility of reusing the two sites. Vaccine appointments at the two Community Vaccination Centers will be released daily beginning on April 1 and made available to eligible individuals through visiting the state’s MyTurn website or by calling 833-422-4255. Members of the public may check their eligibility for vaccination, sign up for notifications and schedule appointments in select areas through the site.