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FEMA to open new COVID-19 vaccine centers to speed up inoculations

LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Los Angeles police have threatened quick arrests should protesters disrupt the vaccination process again.

Those with appointments filed through Dodger Stadium Wednesday smoothly as California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new pilot program intended to speed things up even more.

“No one is satisfied with the pace of distribution of these vaccines. Of course, we have more work to do,” he said.

In a morning news conference in Oakland, Newsom discussed work on a new pilot program with President Joe Biden’s administration and he acknowledged that the state has lagged behind many others in its vaccine rollout. 

Two additional mass vaccination sites will open next month at Cal State University LA and at the Oakland Coliseum.

“We’ve obviously been hosting people for generations to come to baseball games, football games and basketball games. Now people can come out, actually get their shots and get vaccinated,” said Oakland Athletics President Dave Kaval.

Newsom says the pilot locations will enhance ongoing efforts but will include direct support from FEMA.

“These allocations will allow for us to get up to 6,000 doses administered on a daily basis and that all of the requisite supports, not just the doses themselves, the vials, all of the related support will be provided by the government in an additive manner,” he said.

It’s hoped the new sites will better serve those who most need of vaccinations.

“I think Cal State LA is a perfect place to do that because of our long-standing work in the communities that have been most hit by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jose Gomez, Executive VP, Cal State University LA.

But dissatisfaction, frustration and opposition are out there.

On Saturday, about 50 unmasked demonstrators shut things down at Dodger Stadium as they protested against vaccinations and the lockdown.

In the meantime, California and many states are still dealing with uncertainty over getting enough vaccine supply to meet demand. And those who are able to make vaccine appointments say it takes too much time and effort.

During the news conference, Newsom dodged a question about his low approval rating and highlighted improvements in the state’s vaccine process along with a 30% drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past month. 


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