OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Acting FEMA Administrator Robert Fenton has rejected a request by California health officials to expand federal shipments of COVID-19 vaccine to mass vaccination sites in Oakland and Los Angeles beyond the April 11 deadline.
Since the sites opened in February, the thousands of doses administered have been independent of vaccine allocations to Alameda County and State of California health departments.
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In response to a request from Cal-OES, Fenton said, “FEMA has delivered all of the promised vaccines to the State of California, plus a few additional doses of Pfizer. And with the approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, we were able to add a product to immunize tens of thousands more people. “
“On Sunday April 11, the eight week CVC mission will be completed. But that doesn’t mean the vaccinations will end. Cal OES is working with local health officials on a transition plan to hand over the management of CVCs to local organizations. “
Fenton said when the two federal sites were opened, California was receiving about 1.5 million doses of the vaccine per week.
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Each site was set up to immunize 6,000 people per day, but they administered up to 7,500 vaccines per day, according to the state’s Office of Emergency Services. Since the sites are federally managed, these shots are separate from California’s overall weekly allowance, which is now around 1.8 million shots per week.
“Going forward, California is expected to receive at least 2 million doses per week for the next three weeks,” Fenton said. “On Thursday April 1, the state said it planned to receive up to 3 million doses per week by the end of April. In addition, pharmacies are expected to receive an increase of 500,000 vaccines per week. “
The mass sites were to remain open under an agreement between the state and the local health department. Fenton said federal funding for the two sites will continue until October 30.
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“FEMA is prepared to leave all locally recruited employees in place if the facilities are transferred,” he said. “We are also ready to leave the three mobile units associated with each CVC.”
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