LA city-run vaccination sites remain closed amid vaccine shortage

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Monday, February 15, 2021
LA city-run vaccination sites remain closed amid vaccine shortage
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Vaccination sites run by the city of Los Angeles remained closed Monday after running out of doses last week, but a new federal location at Cal State University Los Angeles is expected to open Tuesday.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Vaccination sites run by the city of Los Angeles remained closed Monday after running out of doses last week, but a new federal location at Cal State University Los Angeles is expected to open Tuesday.

CSULA will become one of two COVID-19 mass vaccination sites in the state where officials expect to administer thousands of shots each day.

The new sites, including Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, are part of an effort to establish 100 vaccination supersites nationwide in the Biden administration's first 100 days. They will be co-run by FEMA and Cal Office of Emergency Services.

There will be 15 lanes of traffic as a drive-thru, along with a walk-up site on campus. The plan is to start with 5,000 doses each day.

RELATED: COVID-19: Cal State Los Angeles to become mass vaccination site

Meanwhile, with vaccine supplies still limited, Los Angeles County will again reserve the majority of its available vaccinations this week to provide second doses for those ready to receive them, with county-operated large-scale sites exclusively administering second doses, health officials announced.

"Next week the majority of appointments at our vaccinations sites will continue to be for second doses,'' said Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the county, said Friday. "We will only be providing second doses at our Mega-POD (point of dispending) sites.''

The county operated Mega-PODs are at the Pomona Fairplex, Magic Mountain, the Forum, the county Office of Education in Downey and Cal State Northridge.

He said first doses will be available at other locations, primarily at health centers, pharmacies "and other providers that serve the areas hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.''

The county has been receiving roughly 200,000 doses each week, although the actual amount has varied wildly week-to-week, making advance planning for reservations difficult. Supplies were so limited last week that the city of Los Angeles was forced to close the Dodger Stadium vaccination site and four other locations through the weekend because it exhausted its supply by Thursday afternoon.

RELATED: LA County will again prioritize 2nd doses of COVID vaccine next week

Mayor Eric Garcetti the five city-run sites could open as early as Tuesday -- although that has not been officially announced.

Simon and county Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis both said increasing supplies will be critical as more people become eligible for the shots -- noting that the state plans to expand eligibility next month to all people aged 16 or over who have underlying medical conditions or disabilities that make them highly susceptible to death or severe illness from COVID-19.

In terms of vaccines, Simon said that most recent figures show 1,345,949 doses have been administered in the county, with 1,047,074 of them first doses. A total of 13.5 % of the county's population aged 16 and over have received at least one dose, and 3.8% of that population are fully vaccinated.

L.A. County has reported 1,936 new cases of COVID-19 and 82 additional deaths, but officials said the relatively low numbers may reflect reporting delays over the holiday weekend.

The number of coronavirus patients in county hospitals continues to fall, dropping from 3,426 Saturday to 3,270 Sunday, with 30% of those people in intensive care. The Los Angeles Department of Public Health said Saturday that the county's hospitalization rate has declined 37% since Feb. 1.

The seven-day average for the county's daily test positivity rate, which has also been steadily declining, dropped to 5.1% Sunday from 5.3% the previous day.

Health department officials continued to urge everyone to celebrate the Presidents Day holiday without mingling with people from other households. They say being around people who don't live in the same household creates a greater risk for COVID-19 because people can be infected with the virus and not yet know it.

"... we encourage everyone to be loving to others and always wear a mask when out of your house, keep a distance of at least six feet from people that don't live with you, and stay home and away from others if you are sick or are currently under isolation or quarantine,'' Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Saturday. "These are simple actions that will slow the spread of COVID-19, save lives, and help end this pandemic. In these times of vaccine scarcity, these are the most effective tools that we each have to protect each other as we continue to get more vaccine for everyone who wants it in the county.''

The health department also reminded residents that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is now recommending either double masking'' by wearing two masks (a disposable mask underneath and a cloth mask on top) or wearing a cloth mask combined with a fitter or brace.

RELATED: CDC study finds two masks are better than one vs. COVID-19

City News Service contributed to this report.