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Defense Secretary set to visit COVID vaccination site at CSULA

New U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will visit this week

City News Service | 2/23/2021, 1:32 p.m.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will travel to LA this week...
Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Vice President Kamala Harris

Just days after being sworn into office, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will travel to Southern California this week, visiting the COVID-19 vaccination site being jointly run by the federal government and state at Cal State Los Angeles.

According to the Defense Department, Austin will stop by the site "where active-duty military personnel are supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency's community vaccination center.''

An exact timeline hasn't been announced, but Austin -- who was sworn into office Monday -- will embark on his first official trip Wednesday, visiting U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he'll receive an overview of the department's "COVID-19 support operations.''

He will then travel to Los Angeles, and then head to San Diego to visit with the crew of the USS Nimitz, which is returning after 10 months on duty, and to observe "military vaccination operations on Naval Base San Diego and Naval Air Station North Island.''

The vaccination site at CSULA, along with a similar operation at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, opened Feb. 16 as the first of what are expected to be 100 federally supported vaccine operations across the nation. The California sites are co-operated by FEMA and the state through the governor's Office of Emergency Services.

The sites both have the capacity of administering 6,000 doses per day, and since they receive vaccine supplies directly, the operations are in addition to doses being administered by their respective counties.

Federal and state officials said both California sites were chosen specifically for their accessibility to hard-to-reach communities -- people who are low-income, residents of under-served ethnic groups that have lagged behind in vaccination efforts and people without vehicles and unable to reach other vaccine sites.

The CSULA site also has a mobile operation to take vaccines into the community.

Vaccine appointments at the CSULA site can be made through the state's registration portal at https://myturn.ca.gov/.