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Want a COVID-19 vaccine shot at Cal State L.A.? Make an appointment, state now says

A day after announcing any adult could wait in line for a Johnson & Johnson shot at the mass vaccination site at Cal State L.A., the state said Thursday people were advised to make an appointment online, and those who had lined up were being turned away.

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services had on Wednesday evening announced that anyone 18 and over could walk up to get the single-dose vaccine. Officials on site said they had capacity for 8,000 vaccines but had only been administering about 5,000 and thus had a surplus — with thousands of unbooked appointments.

But after an overwhelming response Thursday morning at the campus in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles, many were turned away.

“They said, ‘make an appointment,’” Lizzy Dinnella said after waiting in line. “We’re not eligible to make appointments, so I’m not going to make an appointment. I’m not going to lie.

“I’m unclear if that means they’re running out. The information has been very sparse and confusing,” Dinnella added.

All adults will be eligible to be vaccinated in California in a week — on April 15. Right now, state guidelines in Los Angeles County allow for those 50 and older, some essential workers and those with some health conditions to qualify.

Late Thursday morning, a spokesman for the Office of Emergency Services said the best way to get vaccinated at Cal State L.A. is to register for an appointment on the state’s site — which requires one to answer questions that screen for county-based eligibility.

“Given the increased demand for vaccines today, we believe all appointments will be filled by eligible Angelenos,” the office’s statement said.

But if some appointments remain unfilled, shots may be available for those who walk up to the site.

“On a case by case basis, the extent to which those appointments go unfilled, there may be a limited number of appointments available as walk ups for individuals 18+,” the statement read.

The site, which opened in mid-February, has been co-managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Cal OES. It will be taken over by the city of Los Angeles next week.

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