Vaccine shortage in LA prompting temporary closure of Dodger Stadium, other sites, Garcetti says

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The mass vaccination site at Dodger Stadium and four other city-run sites in Los Angeles will be closed Friday and Saturday due to a shortage of vaccines, Mayor Garcetti announced Wednesday.

Garcetti said the city will have exhausted its supply of the Moderna vaccine for first-dose appointments by Thursday, calling it an "enormous hurdle" in the race to vaccinate more residents.

"This is not where I want to be. It's not where we deserve to be," Garcetti said. The shortage is prompting those sites to temporarily close.

Garcetti added that he hopes the sites can reopen Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

"This will not affect those who are waiting on their second dose, but will prevent us from moving forward with new first doses until we get more vaccines," Garcetti said during a briefing on the city's response to the pandemic.

Besides Dodger Stadium, the other sites that will close for that period will be San Fernando Park, Hansen Dam, Lincoln Park and the Crenshaw Christian Center.

WATCH: Garcetti announces 2-day closure of Dodger Stadium, other vaccine sites
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The vaccination site at Dodger Stadium and four other city-run sites in L.A. will be closed for two days due to a shortage of vaccines, Mayor Garcetti says.

Garcetti noted that the city received only 16,000 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week, which is about the amount the city gives out in a single day. He said during a briefing with county partners, he was told other cities with smaller populations are receiving more doses than the entirety of L.A. County.

"I want to be clear, Los Angeles needs more doses,'' he said.

He hopes to get more doses soon and says the city is very efficient when administering the vaccinations.

L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer reports vaccine doses remain scarce. She says they hope to receive 200,000 doses a week.

At the same time, Ferrer announced the county will expand vaccine availability in the next two to three weeks to include frontline workers in food, agriculture, law enforcement and nearly 670,000 people who work in childcare and education.

But with limited doses, that could take months.

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While Los Angeles County officials had cautioned that most vaccine sites this week would be focused on administering second doses, Dodger Stadium had extra first doses available on Tuesday.

"We're striving to ensure over the months ahead, all of the people who make learning possible for students from preschools all the way through college have access to the vaccine," Ferrer said.

Ferrer says 80% of those 65 and over have yet to be vaccinated in L.A. County. But she says she hopes that will soon improve.

"We're also beginning to organize mobile teams that will be able to vaccinate people 65 and older who are living in housing developments or they're attending senior centers - again, in our hardest hit communities," Ferrer said.

As COVID-19 cases continue to decline statewide, disturbing allegations of problems have emerged at the PerkinElmer COVID-19 testing lab in Santa Clarita.

Whistleblowers allege there are unlicensed technicians, people asleep while processing swabs for testing and samples being mishandled that could impact statewide results. Gov. Gavin Newsom denies that would happen and says he sent a team to the lab.

State Sen. Melissa Melendez from the Inland Empire is calling for an investigation.
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