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As Big Clinics Close Pending Vaccine Resupply, Some Small Clinics Remain Open

A woman receives her vaccine at a mobile clinic at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. (Sharon McNary/LAist)
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As massive city-run clinics at Dodger Stadium and other locales closed Friday for lack of vaccine, a handful of much smaller pop-up mobile clinics are continuing to vaccinate seniors and health care workers.

One was at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Friday morning, in the parking lot between Sears and the International House of Pancakes. Josalyn Faith Thomas, who’s 69, was among the 50 people standing in line waiting for a shot.

She used to come to the mall before the pandemic for entertainment.

“I miss getting out and going to the movies with my girlfriend. We used to go a couple of times a week,” she said.

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She had been calling around to city officials and pharmacies for a vaccine appointment for a couple of days and the effort paid off.

“They called me at 8 a.m. this morning and said, ‘Come here. They’re doing walk up.' So I got dressed and was out the door and I'm here,” she said.

It’s a walk-up clinic, so people over 65 or health workers can get their shot without an appointment. They just show their ID to the screeners to get vaccinated.

This pop-up clinic is one of several the city set up around Los Angeles to make the vaccines more available in communities hard-hit by the virus and where people might have greater challenges in getting to one of the big vaccine sites.

But there’s a hitch. Unless you know where and when the pop-up clinic is giving shots, you won’t find the location on the Internet. That is by design, to avoid them becoming overrun with people who live outside the area it's meant to serve.

Antwone Roberts, spokesman for 8th District Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, said, “We’re not promoting our vaccine clinics widely to ensure local residents have access. Instead, our staff are calling eligible seniors in the area.”

So a call to your City Council member’s office might be the best way to find out if a pop-up vaccine center is nearby.

The one at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza is a familiar locale, and convenient to people who take the bus.

The rates of death from COVID-19 in the Crenshaw District and Baldwin Hills are lower than that of the city of Los Angeles as a whole, according to statistics from Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

However, Black and Latino residents in neighborhoods throughout the city and county have gotten sick and died of COVID-19 at disproportionately higher rates than the white population.

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