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LA County Officials Move To Make Vaccination Sites More Accessible By Public Transit

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People arrive in their vehicles to receive Covid-19 vaccines at the Fairplex in Pomona, California on January 22, 2021, one of five mass Covid-19 vaccine sites opened across Los Angeles County this week. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
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The L.A. County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a motion to help more people get to and from vaccine sites.

While there are now more than 300 vaccine distribution sites dotted across the county, actually getting to one without a car can be challenging –- especially for seniors, people with mobility issues, or those who rely on L.A.'s sprawling public transportation system.

The motion, authored by Board Chair Hilda Solis, directs the county's Emergency Management and Public Health departments to find ways to either re-route existing bus routes closer to vaccine sites, or find other ways to make the sites more accessible.

The motion explains:

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"Until the COVID-19 vaccine is available in every neighborhood, there are significant inequities like access to transportation that must be addressed.

With inclement weather, limited appointment availability, and a limited but growing number of vaccine sites, the county has a responsibility to partner with transportation operators, authorities and companies to ensure community members, particularly those 65 and older, can access our vaccination sites with ease"

Solis says the motion will ensure that everyone can get the vaccine, including the county's most vulnerable residents:
"Mobilizing more accessible options to the vaccine is integral to a successful vaccination campaign. It's not only a matter of equity, but, in my mind, it's also a matter of ethics. It's the right thing to do."

Supervisor Janice Hahn said Uber reached out to her office to offer free or discounted rides to vaccine sites. Hahn suggested that could be another potential option for increasing access.

Meanwhile, starting next week, officials say the Department of Public Health will send mobile vaccination teams directly to housing developments in the county's hardest-hit communities to vaccinate homebound seniors.

READ THE MOTION

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