Feb 3, 2021 - Health

Biden admin to open first mass COVID vaccination sites in California

People in PPE and medical gear administer vaccines with a long line of cars behind them

A "super site" COVID-19 vaccination event by the San Bernardino County health department on Feb. 2 in Fontana, California. Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The first federally organized mass coronavirus vaccination sites are expected to open in Oakland and Los Angeles, California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Although cases and hospitalizations are dropping in the state, coronavirus deaths remain steady. The state has reported over 3.3 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic — the most of any state in the U.S., per Johns Hopkins data.

  • Opening the sites at the Oakland Coliseum and California State University-Los Angeles is part of an effort to vaccinate low-income communities, essential workers and "communities that are often left behind," Newsom said.

Details: FEMA will work with the state government to set up the mass testing sites and provide staffing, according to Newsom's office.

  • The current goal is to open the sites by Feb. 16 and administer at least 6,000 doses a day, Newsom said at Wednesday's press conference.

What they're saying: “These sites in California are just the beginning,” President Biden's lead COVID-19 coordinator Jeffrey Zients said, per NBC News. “We are working with, in partnership, in states across the country to stand up new sites and will have more to say on that in the coming weeks.”

Go deeper