Currently, more than 4 million coronavirus vaccines have been injected into the arms of people living and working in Los Angeles County, and more than 1.4 million have been fully vaccinated. As this week’s study showed, even a single dose of Pfizer or pre-modela vaccine provides significant protection.
The county is currently immunizing an average of 80,000 people per day and is on track to achieve about 75% immunity by the end of June, officials said Friday. As of March 27, a week ago, 68% of people over the age of 65 had been vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine at least once.
There were additional signs this week that supply was on the rise. County officials expected nearly 400,000 doses next week, including 118,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines. This is the highest shipment ever since the vaccine began arriving in the county in December.
By April, county officials expect to receive nearly 600,000 doses per week. Additional doses were also planned for pharmacies, clinics, FEMA sites, and healthcare systems such as Kaiser and UCLA, which are supplied directly by the federal government.
Of the latest doses in LA County, 100,000 will be sent to federal-qualified medical clinics, 91,000 to local vaccination sites, 70,000 to the City of Los Angeles, and 50,000 to mobile vaccination teams.
While profitable, officials at this stage of the pandemic are fighting as a race to administer as many vaccines as possible before further spread of the variant of concern.
Dr. Paul Simon, Chief Scientific Officer of the county, said:
The county laboratory recently detected an increase in the number of variants. Approximately 63% of the samples reported this week were variants of California and the United Kingdom that are known to be susceptible to infection and to cause more serious illness. The lab also found a strain of the Brazilian variant, but not the most concerned variant of P1. Also, no variant of South African concern was found.
“Their presence indicated the presence of mutant viruses from around the world,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of public health. “This suggests that these variants are becoming more and more prevalent in the community.”
The pace of vaccination is slower than the authorities wanted, but the end result is that the vaccines there appear to be working. Hospitalization and mortality rates over the age of 50 have dropped significantly, as in the case of skilled nursing facilities, which were once the epicenter of this deadly virus that killed more than 23,000 people in LA County.
This week, eligibility has expanded to over 50, even though the county’s supply is below current demand. On April 15, the locks will open further and everyone over the age of 16 will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.
“We urge patience among people around the world who are eager for vaccination,” Simon said. “As you can see, so far only 16% of people aged 16-29 and 26% of people aged 30-49 have been vaccinated.”
At the same time, as more sectors reopen under the guidance of the public health sector, there will be more tensions and more meetings even when attendance is restricted.
Some sites will also face pressure to continue to function as huge vaccine clinics as the “real purpose” resumes.
Vaccine reservations continued on schedule as attractions reopened this week at the Magic Mountain parking lot. The theme park opened on Thursday with strict red layer restrictions. It relaxes a bit as the county moves to the orange level on Monday.
And at Dodger Stadium, where the first home game is April 9, the city has announced that it will temporarily shut down the site and reopen it the next day without affecting the booking schedule.
California health officials announced on Friday changes that would allow fans to resume indoor activities such as concerts, conferences, and theater performances, and return to indoor sporting events for fans. LA County hasn’t yet set a schedule to meet state guidelines, but sites such as the Inglewood Forum, where another huge vaccine clinic exists, are steadily returning to concerts and MMA / boxing business. I will.
And venues such as Pomona’s Fairplex will soon book a huge exhibition space event later this year if the trendline continues and the pandemic continues to ease in Southern California. The home of the annual LA County Fair hosted a virus test before launching a huge vaccine site. The Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and its 244 rooms were also used to isolate coronavirus patients, including those exposed to COVID-19 and those who could not be safely quarantined or quarantined. On March 17, the last patient at the hotel was discharged.
Earlier this month, Fairplex’s interim CEO Walter Marquez said, “This year was a roller coaster,” with many highs and lows, “these lows were a loss of life.” .. “We look forward to gathering people, but all of this has given us the opportunity to rethink Fairplex and what else we can do to help.”
The county evaluates how it responds to changing landscapes. Also, some huge venues can be replaced by multiple smaller sites and more mobile vaccine teams in high-risk communities. However, helping to relieve pressure is to direct more vaccines to medical networks such as Kaiser Permanente, where patients can take shots at nearby medical facilities.
“We are discussing the benefits of a very large site, or perhaps have some small sites,” Simon said. “We don’t have an exact timeline, but we know that as things get more open, we need to plan adjustments.”
Officials reported that the number of vaccines given in the county’s eight megapods has increased over the past week, averaging nearly 2,000 to 4,000 per day on Wednesday.
“We can manage the increased amount without any problems and are ready to maintain this level given more supply,” Simon said.
At the California State University, Los Angeles mass vaccination site, the city will take over from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, providing a seamless transition on April 12, and will continue to inoculate approximately 6,000 people per day. The site will continue to use the mobile clinic as before, but is now under the jurisdiction of the City of Los Angeles.
“The vaccination efforts are going well, but they are well below the levels needed to prevent community expansion and reach herd immunity,” said Simon.
Simon said his greatest concern was the increase in incidents he had experienced in other states, given that so many people are likely to travel from Los Angeles County. That’s another thing the authorities need to pay attention to, he said.
Staff writer Javier Rojas contributed to this report.
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