A shot at equity: USC vaccination site aims to expand access to immunization

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By Ron Mackovich

Traffic on Flower Street has been thicker than normal as cars queue up to enter the parking garage near the southeast corner of USC’s University Park Campus, where the city is operating its newest vaccination site. The clinic’s goal is 5,000 doses daily.

“It’s our privilege to help in this effort and actively partner with the city and Mayor Garcetti to fight this virus,” said USC President Carol L. Folt. “This center will help bring vaccines into communities most impacted by COVID-19.”

Data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health showed just over 4% of South L.A. residents vaccinated as of mid-February, while the positivity rate for COVID-19 was 16%. In early March, the state set aside 40% of its vaccine supply for communities suffering the biggest impact from COVID-19.

The Flower Street location, close to public transit stops, welcomes drive-up or walk-up appointments and administers the Moderna vaccine.

USC vaccination sites positioned to assist L.A. communities in need

To help South L.A. residents get to the USC vaccination site, Uber is offering 15,000 free with another 20,000 rides at half price.

The Flower Street location is operated by a partnership that includes L.A. County, the L.A. City Fire Department and the nonprofit Community Organized Relief Effort.

Faculty, alumni, students and residents from the USC School of Pharmacy are among those staffing the site and the clinic at Lincoln Park. That site, near the Health Sciences Campus, opened in December and vaccinates about 1,200 people each day. It grew from the pharmacy school’s effort to distribute the flu vaccine at COVID-19 testing sites last fall.

People 65 and over, health care workers, persons with high-risk medical conditions and those who work in education, emergency services and food service were eligible for vaccination on the clinic’s opening day. Eligibility has since expanded to include those between 16 and 64 with underlying health conditions or disabilities that put them at the highest risk.

To register for vaccination with the city of Los Angeles, visit this site or call 833-540-0473. Eligibility information is also available.