The LA Covid-19 vaccine shortage will continue into next week; 2nd Shots Only – Deadline

Los Angeles County will re-reserve the majority of its available Covid-19 vaccines next week to deliver second doses to those ready to receive them, with large-scale county-run sites administering second doses exclusively, health officials said on Friday.

“Next week, the majority of appointments at our vaccination sites will continue to be for second doses,” said Dr. Paul Simon, scientific director of the county public health department. “We will only provide second doses at our Mega-POD (distribution point) sites.” It was only after providing the second injection this week, which is two straight weeks, that the county has had to postpone appointments for the first dose due to vaccine supply issues.

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County-run Mega-PODs can be found at Pomona Fairplex, Magic Mountain, Forum, Downey County Education Office, and Cal State Northridge.

He said the first doses will be available in other places, mainly at health centers, pharmacies “and other providers that serve the areas hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

The county receives around 200,000 doses each week, although the actual amount has varied dramatically, making it difficult to plan ahead for reservations. Supplies were so limited this week that the city of Los Angeles was forced to shut down the vaccination site at Dodger Stadium and four other sites in the city over the weekend because it ran out of supplies Thursday afternoon. It’s unclear how the county’s continuing shortage will affect the Dodger Stadium site in the coming week.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday night the site was running out of vaccines as the city’s allowance fell more than 80% week-over-week.

“This week, we only received 16,000 new doses. That’s about the number of new doses we give each day, ”he said. “This is a drop of 90,000 from the previous week. This is unacceptable. “

“At a briefing to our county partners this morning,” the mayor said on Wednesday, “we learned that other towns with smaller populations are receiving more doses than our entire county with a larger population. we look at places that have lower cases, we see 50% more doses going to other cities. I don’t want to deprive them of a single dose, but it is right that Los Angeles gets a steady supply to meet the demand. when we need it.

From The Fresno BeeThe Fresno County allowance was doubled to 19,000 doses this week. Last week, the county received 8,000.

So who is responsible for the allocations?

The US government decides how many doses each state receives each week. The state distributes these doses among counties and major health systems. The county would then allocate an allowance to the city.

CA uses a formula to estimate how many people in an area are eligible to decide on allowances. But the decline in Los Angeles this week – especially compared to Fresno – doesn’t seem fair considering LA is a city of 3 million people.

“We share their frustration,” said Dr. Paul Simon of LA County. “We are all frustrated. We know we could do a lot more if we had more doses. For example, we are currently receiving about 200,000 doses per week, and having surveyed all of our suppliers, we are confident that we could deliver up to 600,000 doses per week. So we have a much, much greater capacity if we can get the vaccine available. “

Garcetti is highlighted this week that state efforts to rapidly expand vaccination sites are drying up an already scarce vaccine pool.

When asked specifically if the increasing prevalence of vaccination sites may have contributed to the drop in supply, Garcetti observed, “It’s kind of Hunger Games out there. We do a sort of “all of the above”. I think part of that is because we’ve been to a lot of places without the offer matching that, you’ve seen some of the main places … like ours and the county mega sites didn’t not as much supply.

Indeed, on Thursday long waits plagued the county vaccination site at the Forum in Inglewood because walk-in people showed up. A fire researcher reported a three hour delay.

The county’s public health department told the City News Service that the delays were “due to more than 1,000 people showing up at the site for a second dose, but not having an appointment.”

The county has not turned down those eligible for a second dose. This increased the registration time for almost half of the people on the site. Additional staff have been sent to help manage the delays, according to the county.

Dr Simon and county health official Dr Muntu Davis both said increasing supplies would be critical as more people become eligible for vaccines – noting that the state announced on Friday its intends to extend eligibility next month to all people aged 16 or over who have underlying medical conditions or disabilities that make them highly vulnerable to death or serious illness from Covid

Davis acknowledged the generally improved downward trends in daily cases, but pointed out that while the numbers are improving, they are still high and that “the risk of meeting someone with COVID-19 who doesn’t know may to be not is always very high. “

In terms of vaccines, Simon said the most recent figures show that 1,345,949 doses have been given in the county, including 1,047,074 first doses. In total, 13.5% of the county’s population aged 16 and over have received at least one dose and 3.8% of this population are fully immunized.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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