LOS ANGELES — There is a level of controlled chaos inside the largest vaccination hub in South Los Angeles, where Dr. Jerry Abraham stops to greet new employees.
But as he walked through the campus at Kedren Health, however, there was something missing: the line out the door.
What You Need To Know
- At its peak, Kedren Health in South LA was vaccinating roughly 3,000 people per day, but demand is now falling even though all adults are eligible
- Dr. Jerry Abraham, who runs the clinic, says clinics must start reaching out to those hesitant to get vaccinated
- Dr. Abraham's clinic has invested in a fleet of vehicles to take vaccinations to housing projects and homeless encampments
- Kedren Health has vaccinated more than 160,000 people against COVID-19
“The eager beavers have come though now, and it’s getting more challenging to find arms to vaccinate,” Dr. Abraham said.
Over the past four months, Dr. Abraham has turned this small community clinic into a sprawling vaccination hub, inoculating enough people to fill the nearby LA Coliseum twice.
At the peak, Kedren was vaccinating roughly 3,000 people per day. But even though all adults are now eligible, demand is falling.
“That’s what makes me a little sad and scared and nervous,” said Dr. Abraham.
Back in January, he had to finagle with health officials to get supply to South LA, picking it up himself from LA County Health facilities. The clinic exhausted their supply at the end of every day.
Four months later, he has the opposite problem. With doses shipped directly to the clinic, he now has to figure out where to store it.
When President Joe Biden took office in January, he promised the federal government would facilitate 100 million shots in his first 100 days. He announced this week the U.S. has reached 215 million vaccinations, with roughly 30% of Americans fully inoculated against COVID-19.
Dr. Abraham explained how that was the easy part because reaching the next 100 million Americans will be much more difficult. His clinic is making plans to go where people live, work, worship and play.
"We can’t go back to business as usual," he said. "If we go back to business as usual, people will die. That’s what happened the last go-around. Black and brown people in our community got (Covid-19) and died."
Dr. Abraham is still racing to save lives from the coronavirus.
“The last mile is the most expensive mile,” he said, explaining how the clinics need to reach housing projects and homeless encampments.
Kedren just invested in a fleet of vehicles to do just that, taking the vaccine hub on the road.