LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Three new COVID-19 vaccination sites are scheduled to open next week at Metro transit stations located in areas hard hit by the virus, Metro announced.
Thursday's announcement comes as the county is scaling down its large- scale vaccination sites while also stepping up outreach efforts in communities where inoculations have lagged.
The new sites are scheduled to open Tuesday at the C Line's (Green) Crenshaw/105 Station in Hawthorne; the Harbor Gateway Transit Center in Gardena; and the A Line's (Blue) Del Amo Station in Los Angeles, Metro said.
They will be the first vaccination sites to be installed on the Metro public transit system.
Metro said the sites are designed for walk-ups, and are a short walk from each train station.
"The end of the pandemic is within our grasp, but we can only keep making progress if we make life-saving vaccines accessible to all residents, regardless of their zip code," said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti.
"By bringing these new vaccination clinics to Metro transit stations in our hardest-hit communities, we can ensure no Angeleno is left behind on our road to recovery."
Vaccine-site operating hours will be Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The vaccines are free, and appointments can be made by visiting https://www.totaltestingsolutions.com/covid19-vaccine/.
However, the sites will also accept walk-ups.
Both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available at all locations. Pfizer vaccinations will be available to everyone 16 years of age and older. Johnson & Johnson vaccinations will be available to everyone 18 years and older.
No insurance documentation is required.
"I'm proud to be partnering with Metro and the Department of Public Health on this important initiative that helps remove barriers to getting the vaccine for our communities that have suffered the most illness and death during the pandemic," said County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Metro's director.
"Over 80 percent of Metro riders are people of color and the median household income for bus riders alone is $18,000. Many of those same riders have relied on Metro services as essential workers to get to work and other critical destinations during the pandemic. By using Metro sites as vaccine centers, we are making vaccinations convenient and free for our residents."
Said Barbara Ferrer, the county's director of public health: "Providing access is critical to increasing vaccination rates among those who have been hardest by the pandemic, and these new sites at high-traffic Metro stations promise to make getting vaccinated easier than ever.
"We are grateful to Supervisor Mitchell, Metro and our countless community partners for working tirelessly to get individuals in hard-hit communities vaccinated and feel certain our work together can bring about an end to the devastation caused by the pandemic."
Vaccine site locations were selected based on Gov. Gavin Newsom's list of county ZIP codes where there is, and has been, high rates of COVID-19 cases and low vaccination rates, Metro said.
"There is no better example of Metro's efforts to ensure equity for our customers than by strategically placing Metro-friendly vaccination sites in underserved communities," said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington.
"Everyone deserves access to vital services -- and especially the people who during the pandemic served others and kept our society and economy running."
Metro's Office of Equity and Race worked with county agencies to install the new vaccination sites. Metro is also looking to install additional vaccination sites at other Metro station properties, the agency said.