Skid Row homeless 65 and older receive COVID-19 vaccine

In addition to their first vaccination, homeless people 65 and older were also given their second appointment for the vaccine.
SKID ROW, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Mission and other organizations partnered up to give out shots of hope.

On Wednesday, medical staff started vaccinating homeless people in Skid Row who are 65 and older with the COVID-19 vaccine.

"When we already have a community that is on the fringes, that has been disenfranchised, when you get a situation like the pandemic, it's only exasperated," said Troy Vaughn, CEO and president of the L.A. Mission.

According to Los Angeles County data, as of Feb. 8, there has been more than 6,000 COVID-19 cases reported in the homeless community. Nearly 700 of those cases have been homeless people 65 or older.

"I think that's why the leadership of our county is, you know, going with that strategy to begin to [vaccinate] those that are most vulnerable in our community," said Vaughn. "When you think about it, it makes sense."

As for coronavirus deaths, 156 have been reported among the homeless community in L.A. County; 44 were people 65 or older.

"When you look at it and you're in real time, you feel like it's more," said Vaughn. "It doesn't mean that it is more, but when you're in it every day in real time, you do feel that way."

Vaughn said they were able to vaccinate over 80 people and schedule their second dose. In the weeks ahead, they will continue to inoculate the rest of Skid Row's 65 and older community -- which is over 1,000 people.

"When you begin to provide this valuable resource to the most vulnerable in your communities, then I think then that's when we begin to see then understand that we're on our way out of this," said Vaughn.

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