Unexpected additional vaccine first doses available in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- While Los Angeles County officials had cautioned that most large vaccination sites this week would be focused on administering second doses, Dodger Stadium had extra first doses available on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said there were about 7,000 appointments available as of 1 p.m.

More than 1 million doses of vaccine have already been administered in Los Angeles County.

The county expects to receive another 218,000 doses this week, according to county health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer. About 55% are going for second-dose vaccinations.

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L.A. County officials said they hope to see rising weekly allocations of vaccine so more shots can be made available for those looking to get their first dose.

It appears some of the confusion stems from county officials referring to the first-dose shortage only being at sites run by the county itself, while other sites like Dodger Stadium are run by the city of Los Angeles. At county-run sites, L.A. County Public Health says people seeking their first dose have to wait this week, so they have enough vaccines to provide second doses.

"I would say that for the general public it would be confusing to know the difference," said David Ortiz with LAFD.

To clear things up, county-run vaccination sites include:

  • Cal State Northridge

  • Magic Mountain

  • The Forum

  • County Office of Education in Downey

  • Pomona Fairplex

  • El Sereno Recreation Center

  • Balboa Sports Complex

  • Meanwhile, city-run sites include:

  • Dodger Stadium

  • Crenshaw Clinic

  • San Fernando Clinic

  • Lincoln Park Clinic

  • Hansen Dam

  • These locations are the mass vaccination sites in the county, which don't include smaller sites like local pharmacies that may be offering the vaccine as well.

    Ortiz added that the confusion did not result in any wasted doses.

    "We thaw out our vaccines and prepare our syringes as the appointments are made so nothing is wasted, nothing is thawed out when it's not expected to be injected," he said. "So as people make appointments, we get those vaccines ready."

    But health officials say disturbingly-low numbers of Black residents have received the vaccination, spurring new outreach efforts.

    In South Los Angeles, a four-day mobile vaccination center was set up, targeting health-care workers and residents over age 65.

    "Sometimes people don't have a car, a way to get to the vaccination locations, and so we're picking people up," said Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price. "We want to make sure that we're doing all we can to reassure them that help is on the way, that they will be able to get the vaccine and that we can get back to a life of normalcy."

    Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom is officially opening another vaccination supersite, Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. The site is eventually expected to ramp up to 15,000 vaccinations per day.

    Still, Newsom is emphasizing the importance of continuing to maintain safety protocols because health officials have found three serious COVID-19 mutations in California, with more than 1,200 known cases from them.

    In L.A., City Councilman Joe Buscaino has introduced a motion to dedicate a week at Dodger Stadium to help get more teachers vaccinated and back in classrooms. Buscaino says he spoke with LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner.

    The motion asks the city attorney to look at all legal options to help with safely reopening schools for in-person instruction.

    Newsom says he believes schools can reopen safely before employees are vaccinated, and it's essential to reopen schools this year for the youngest students.

    Teacher unions, however, argue unless teachers have been offered the vaccine, they should not be required to return.
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