LA Mayor Garcetti receives COVID-19 vaccine

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, despite not meeting the county's vaccine eligibility.

In L.A. County, only healthcare workers, long-term care residents and people 65 and older can currently get vaccinated.

Garcetti turns 50 next week.

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A spokesperson said the mayor received his first dose Jan. 21 after spending five days at Dodger Stadium helping with the vaccination effort.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said allocations of COVID-19 vaccine continue to lag behind demand, with the county expecting to receive roughly 188,000 doses next week. Many of those, however, will be needed to administer second shots to people who have already received the first dose of the two-dose regimen.

As of the end of last week, the county had received a total of 853,650 doses. It received an estimated 143,900 doses this week, pushing the total to nearly 1 million.

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Vaccination appointments can be booked online at vaccinatelacounty.com or by calling 833-530-0473 between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Ferrer noted a continuing downward trend in new COVID-19 case rates, reporting 6,917 new infections Wednesday. Long Beach health officials announced 372 more cases, while Pasadena added 44. The new cases lifted the cumulative countywide total from throughout the pandemic to 1,092,158.

The number of people dying from the virus, however, remains high, with the county announcing another 307 deaths, although 22 of those fatalities were actually reported Tuesday by Long Beach health officials. Long Beach reported 16 more fatalities Wednesday, while Pasadena announced two. The new deaths increased the overall death toll to 15,915.

Ferrer and county Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said the daily number of deaths is likely to remain elevated for at least two more weeks, due to the recent surge of COVID patients swarming intensive-care units.

The hospitalization numbers have been trending downward, with the state reporting a total of 6,026 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID as of Wednesday, including 1,542 people in ICUs. At the beginning of the month, the county was averaging more than 8,000 COVID patients. The county's average ICU population of COVID patients has also fallen, from about 1,900 per day earlier this month to now about 1,600.

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City News Service contributed to this report.
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