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Troops Bring Military Efficiency To Cal State LA Vaccination Center

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A California Army National Guard soldier directs cars toward the vaccine lanes (Sharon McNary/LAist)
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About 200 troops in fatigues started their deployment at Cal State LA on Tuesday, part of the federal government's attempt to speed up vaccinations and get 150 million people their shots in 100 days.

The troops came from Fort Carson, Colorado and the California Army National Guard, and organized the operation with military efficiency. On Tuesday they vaccinated 3,000 people. Ultimately it's hoped they'll be able to handle 6,000 a day.

It's a quick process. Platoons of ten cars are instructed to drive forward bumper-to-bumper into the vaccine lane set up in a large parking lot.

"Once they're all lined up," said Sergeant First Class Gerardo Guzman, "each customer gets a questionnaire. And then shortly after one of our medics will go ahead and administer the vaccine."

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After a short wait to make sure there’s no bad reaction, all ten cars are released and the next ten drive in.

At a press conference at the site, Governor Newsom said the location had been chosen to be near communities which had been hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic.

"This is a framework of focus, not just on efficiency, not just speed, but on the issue of equity," he said.

He made clear that the site's allocation of vaccines will be supplied directly by the federal government, and would not affect California's allocation.

Sgt. First Class Gerardo Guzman said he was proud to be doing this work. "Personally, I took the vaccine myself. So this is something I do believe in."

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You'll need an appointment to get a vaccine at the site. Go to myturn.ca.gov

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