executive order making COVID-19 vaccines available to residents aged 65 and older.
Once they are fully operational, 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 are located at:
“People are going to remain in their cars and are going to drive through the site, where they’re going to be vetted, make sure they have an appointment, make sure they have an I.D. They’re going to be vaccinated, and depending on whether they need to be observed for 15 minutes or 30 minutes, that’s where they’ll be and they’ll continue to be in their car throughout the whole process,” said Marco Rodriguez with the Los Angeles Fire Department.
A spokesperson with the L.A. County Fire Department said she was excited to receive her second dose of the vaccine at CSUN.
“It’s a hopeful moment for all of us. It’s a historical time. I mean, a few months ago we were here doing COVID testing and now we’re doing vaccines so it does feel pretty special today,” said Lydia Garillas.
On Tuesday, all of the sites will be open by appointment only from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but will open at 9 a.m. daily starting Wednesday. According to the county’s Public Health Department website, appointments for Tuesday at CSUN and the Fairplex were all booked up.
A forecast of strong winds across the region prompted officials in Orange County to temporarily close the vaccination site at Disneyland. However, the five new sites in L.A. opened as scheduled despite the winds.
Solis’ order will allow residents 65 and older to start making vaccine appointments starting Thursday, despite health officials’ desire to finish inoculating medical workers amid a limited supply of medication.
The state opened vaccine eligibility to people 65 and older earlier in the month, but L.A. County had been lagging behind other Southern California counties in opening up vaccinations to that group.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer last week said the county would not offer vaccines to people 65 and older until vaccinations of front-line health care workers were completed. That process was expected to last until the end of the month.
Ferrer noted that expanding the availability of the shots was largely dependent on the local supply of vaccines.
There was no immediate word on what impact Solis’ order would have on the county’s vaccine supply, and its ability to complete vaccinations of health care workers.
The County health department says it currently has on hand enough shots to treat 50,000 people.
“We’ll get our allocations for this week today and tomorrow, so we’ll compete the distribution, that should get us through next Monday. And then we just have to see how many doses we’re going to get for the following week,” said Dr. Ferrer.
In the meantime, many Los Angeles County Firefighters are already going through their second vaccinations.
Fire Chief Daryl Osby received the follow-up dose.
The chief says 75% of his department has been vaccinated and infection rates have plummeted after the first dose.
“The people who are now getting COVID are the ones that haven’t been vaccinated, so the first shot is doing very well in relation to preventing our members from getting COVID-19,” he said.
Getting all firefighters to vaccinate though is proving tricky. The chief says he legally can’t require it, so he’s hoping scenes like in Downey on Tuesday will inspire the rest of his department to get the shots.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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