Supervisors urge LA County to expand COVID-19 vaccinations to people 65 and over 'without further delay'

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Two Los Angeles County Supervisors are now pushing for the expansion of COVID-19 vaccinations for people 65 and older.

Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn are calling for the distribution process to be expedited to include that vulnerable segment of the county's population as soon as possible.

People 65 and older make up more than 70% of coronavirus deaths in the county.

L.A. County is lagging behind other Southern California counties in opening up vaccinations to that group. Last week, county health officials said their goal is to begin offering the vaccine to that age group in the beginning of February - an aim they say is dependent on vaccine supply.

But Barger and Hahn are calling for that to happen "immediately" and "without further delay."

Currently, L.A. County is only offering the vaccine to health care workers and skilled nursing facility residents and staff despite the state opening eligibility to residents 65 and older. County officials say they do not have adequate doses locally yet to start opening up vaccinations to residents of that age group.

RELATED: CA allowing residents 65 and older to get scarce COVID-19 vaccines
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Since the coronavirus started spreading across the globe in late 2019, scientists have been looking for a vaccine. Now that vaccines are proven, it will ultimately be up to each state to determine who will get the vaccine, and when?

California does not have a warehouse to store the vaccine. Instead, the doses are shipped directly from the manufacturer to vaccination sites. Officials with the county Department of Public Health expect additional doses to arrive by Tuesday.

"We feel very strongly that the more that we create these opportunities to be able to get the vaccines out, you kind of have to have a 'sandwich approach.' The vaccines will come but we need to be ready on the ground, to have that infrastructure ready, to actually get it into those arms," said Ann Lee with Core, which staffs the Dodger Stadium site.

Meanwhile, an additional five mass vaccination sites will open across the county on Tuesday. Dodger Stadium opened as a vaccination site Friday.

The new sites will be able to vaccinate 4,000 people a day at each location. The county hopes to complete 500,000 additional vaccinations by the end of the month. The new super sites will be located at:

- Fairplex in Pomona

- The Forum in Inglewood

- Cal State University in Northridge

- L.A. County office of Education in Downey

- Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia

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Dodger Stadium reopened Friday as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site, which Mayor Eric Garcetti says will have the capacity to vaccinate 12,000 people a day once it is fully operational.

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