New mobile COVID-19 clinic opens in central Los Angeles

The Mobile Vaccine Clinic will be held every Tuesday. | Photo courtesy of Divya Sathyanarayanan and Aurelia Ventura

A new, walk-up mobile COVID-19 clinic launched this week to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to underserved communities in Los Angeles, presented by Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas in partnership with CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center (CHA HPMC) and the Southern California Eye Institute (SCEI).

The clinic provided free Pfizer vaccines to those who meet eligibility criteria per Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) vaccine distribution guidelines and will continue on selected dates in the coming weeks.

The event began with brief remarks by Councilmember Ridley-Thomas and Rohit Varma, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of CHA HPMC and CEO of SCEI.

Student volunteers from Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science assisted with on-site registration for walk-up appointments, and actress Wendy Raquel Robinson also made an appearance at the event to show her support. A total of 300 vaccines were given throughout the day.

“Equity matters. There is no greater threat to our future and overall health of our City than COVID-19. We must continue the work of equity—health equity, social equity, racial equity—in our COVID response. This vaccine clinic is part of our concerted effort with community partners to address disparities in access. Equity is our north star, and if we are going to get there, we will do so together, as a community,” said Councilmember Ridley-Thomas.

A nurse prepares vaccines for the weekly mobile clinic for underserved communities in LA. | Photo courtesy of Divya Sathyanarayanan and Aurelia Ventura

According to Dr. Varma, “Vaccination is our best chance at reducing the death and suffering caused by COVID-19 disease, and we need to provide easy access to vaccines especially for our vulnerable communities. Members of our community should get vaccinated because it reduces the burden of the pandemic within the community, reduces the number of people that get admitted into hospitals, and ultimately saves lives. In the long run, getting vaccinated is important because it allows the community to achieve herd immunity which will protect us from COVID-19 disease.”

CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center was the first hospital-based drive-through dispensing site for COVID-19 vaccines in the County of Los Angeles.

In addition, CHA HPMC continued to look for ways to reach and deliver vaccines to the underserved in the Los Angeles community, to those who may not have ready access to computers or transportation. The solution turned up when its Southern California Eye Institute offered to convert its mobile eye clinic bus to a vaccination center on wheels.

The walk-up Mobile Vaccine Clinic will be held at 1819 S. Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90006 every Tuesday starting April 20 through May 25 (with the exception of April 27).

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