Push continues to vaccinate frontline workers at LA hospitals

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The vaccine rollout and efforts to immunize frontline workers continues at Southern California medical centers.

At Keck Medicine of USC, experts on Tuesday provided an update on vaccination efforts and answered questions about potential side effects.

Keck has received 8,000 doses and distributed 4,500 with a second round of dosing expected Thursday. Although two vaccines are available, the hospital has only received the Pfizer version.

Krist Azizian, the chief pharmacy officer at Keck Medicine of USC, says the Moderna vaccine is being distributed to first responders and long-term care facilities.

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Azizian added that vaccine willingness among USC health care workers had dropped from 80% to 70% recently. He hopes a focused information campaign will move the needle.

The hospital has been prioritizing workers who have the most interaction with patients. Plans to start vaccinating essential workers and people over 75 are in the works. They hope to have enough supply to start those vaccinations in the next three months.

During the rollout, Dr. Neha Nanda, the medical director of infection prevention, addressed employees' questions about side effects. She said a sore arm or fatigue are some common side effects.

As for the new COVID-19 variant circulating, Nanda says she has every reason to believe the vaccines will still be effective.
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