People in Los Angeles got a blaring message on their cell phones Wednesday, with the city issuing an emergency alert urging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“COVID cases are rapidly rising. Protect yourself, loved ones and your community by getting vaccinated now,” the alert read. “Vaccines are free, safe and highly effective. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, get tested. Find a vaccination or testing location near you at or call 833-540-0473 from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.”

The alert was sent around midday. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office warned residents on social media about two hours earlier that it was coming.

“We need to get as many people vaccinated as possible to beat this virus,” according to the post on the mayor’s Twitter page.

It was not the first time the city has issued a cell phone emergency alert about vaccines. A similar alert was sent citywide on May 3, also urging people to get vaccinated.

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