Los Angeles, CA — The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine currently under development is becoming the largest and most complex public health effort in LA County history, raising concerns that authorities are already behind. Reported on Friday.
Scientists have designed the vaccine. Now government officials need to understand how to distribute life-saving COVID-19 drugs quickly and fairly. In the case of Los Angeles County, the effort already included the acquisition of 16 ultra-cold storage freezers installed throughout the region, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday morning. The freezer can store tens of thousands of doses at temperatures as low as minus 86 degrees Celsius.
But the bigger question is where does the vaccine go from there? The county is already suffering from another important element of pandemic response. Providing large-scale coronavirus testing and distributing vaccines in a safe and impartial manner is an even more important task. Some officials have already expressed concern, the Times reported.
County supervisor Janice Hahn recently called the county’s preliminary plan “too vague.” She said the county was unable to address important logistics issues such as how to store the Pfizer vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine should be kept at minus 70 ° C.
Supervisor Hilda Solis also wanted to see more explanations on how the county would distribute the vaccine fairly and make it well accessible to the color community.
“I’m going to beg you … I’m really ready,” Hahn told Barbara Ferrer, director of public health in Los Angeles County, at a recent board meeting. “I don’t think we can afford to be a little late to know how to distribute this vaccine.”
“I’m ready,” Feller said, according to The Times. “I promise.”
For now, the county has a priority list for vaccination. It is available free of charge to any vaccinated resident. The first to line up are healthcare professionals at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to The Times, key workers at high risk of being infected with the coronavirus will be one of the next most promising candidates, based on preliminary guidance from state and federal authorities.
Nursing home residents and employees can also become a priority population in the early stages of vaccine deployment. People with serious medical conditions such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, severe lung disease, sickle cell disease, and residents over the age of 65 are also included in the county’s preliminary plan as a major group of vaccinations. I will.
For others, waiting times can take months, according to The Times.
Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Chief Medical Officer of Los Angeles County, said a 35-year-old who has no health risks and is not a required worker will not be vaccinated until at least next spring.
“I could be wrong. More vaccines could be available and people are very likely not to want to take the vaccine, so expand to other groups as supply increases. “There is a possibility,” said Gunzenhauser. “This is really a guess, as there are so many unknowns.”
Eventually, the vaccine will be widely available to all residents, but county authorities are still working on ways to make the vaccine most accessible.
Hahn wants the county to use the school as a distribution site. This is an idea endorsed by LA Unified Superintendent of Education Austin Boytner. Solis asked public health authorities to consider using libraries, geriatric centers, and clinics in poorly serviced areas. The county is also considering expanding the current COVID-19 testing site to provide vaccinations as well.
According to The Times, some of the initial doses of the vaccine will be stored at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center. According to the county’s public health department, the hospital was one of the few medical facilities designated by the state to receive early shipments of vaccines because of its refrigeration capacity. Approximately 20 hospitals in Los Angeles County have applied, Gunzenhauser said.
The amount of vaccine that California or Los Angeles County receives is not yet clear.
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