City of Los Angeles-run COVID-19 vaccination sites will be open for six days this week as part of a broader effort to increase access in the face of declining local demand for doses.
Along with the additional day of operation, local authorities said they will provide more opportunities for people to get vaccinated without having to make an appointment, and will open a new clinic with extended night hours.
An emergency alert with information on vaccination will also be sent to the entire city on Monday afternoon, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Our city and our country are at a critical turning point in the fight to defeat COVID-19, and as we have done in every phase of this crisis, we will meet the moment with urgent action: roll up our sleeves and inject the arms of all Angelenos, “he said in a statement on Sunday.
Los Angeles Vaccine Sites at Cal State LA, Hansen Dam, San Fernando Park, Lincoln Park, Pierce College, Crenshaw Christian Center, Los Angeles Southwest College, USC, Century City and, for now, Dodger Stadium will be running Monday to Saturday this week.
The city’s eight mobile clinics will continue with their typical hours, Tuesday through Saturday.
There will also be walk-in vaccinations at all mobile centers, as well as at Lincoln Park, San Fernando Park, Pierce College, USC, LA Southwest College, Century City and Cal State LA locations, authorities said.
The clinic at the South Park Recreation Center will be open from 9 am to 9 pm, providing an evening option for those whose work hours make daytime vaccinations difficult.
In total, city officials estimate that they will be able to apply about 260,000 doses this week, the most so far. “Los Angeles has enough doses to maintain its good momentum, protect communities against new variants and end this pandemic,” Garcetti emphasized. “So we must all do our part to encourage our families, friends, co-workers and neighbors to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
The renewal of the measures comes as the city and county of Los Angeles, like many areas of the nation, experience a drop in the demand for vaccines, a trend that officials worry could slow or hinder achieving the level of herd immunity needed to finally leave the COVID-19 pandemic behind.
Experts estimate that a significant part of the population, usually 80% or more, would need to be vaccinated to deprive the coronavirus of new people to infect.
About 54% of Los Angeles County residents age 16 and older had received at least one dose as of April 28, public health data shows. But only about 36% of Angelenos in that age range are fully vaccinated, which means they have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in a single shot or both required doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.
Nearly half of all Californians have at least one dose to date, and 31.7% are fully vaccinated, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
However, there are signs that implementation is slowing down. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said last week that first-dose appointments decreased by about 50% in Los Angeles County. “For the first time there have been vacant appointments in many vaccination sites,” he said during a briefing last Thursday.
While removing barriers to vaccine access and availability is a key piece of the puzzle, officials say an increasingly important part of strategy going forward must be convincing those who may be undecided about vaccination.
According to estimates from the nation’s Department of Health and Human Services, based on survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau, only about 11% of Californians are believed to hesitate to get vaccinated, a lower rate than any other. states, except four.
However, reluctance to be immunized is not uniform across the state, and having high levels of resistance in particular areas would give the coronavirus ample opportunities to spread.
To address the concerns of those who resist, health officials regularly point to the high level of protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide.
Along with that pragmatic urge is a tantalizing twist: the prospect of returning to pre-pandemic normalcy.
In California, which continues to have one of the lowest coronavirus case rates in the country, many long-standing restrictions on businesses are being relaxed or waived, allowing residents more freedom to eat at restaurants, view a movie or even visit Disneyland.
Once on edge, state hospitals are now treating fewer coronavirus patients than at almost any other time during the pandemic.
And the number of Californians dying from COVID-19 has also plummeted. Los Angeles County reported no new deaths related to the disease on Sunday, a figure that, while likely due to delays in receiving reports on weekends, is representative of the progress the region has made in fighting the pandemic. .
Conditions improved to the point that officials even set a deadline to fully reopen the state’s economy: June 15.
But that progress, although hopeful, is not absolutely certain, officials warn. Staying on the road to recovery will require more Californians to get vaccinated and, in the meantime, continue to adhere to established public health protocols to curb the transmission of the coronavirus.
“As more Los Angeles County residents and workers are vaccinated, the risk of transmission of variants is significantly reduced and we can return to the many activities we loved to do before the pandemic,” Ferrer said in a statement.
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