Getting vaccine likely more difficult this week in Southern California: What to know
COVID-19 vaccination centers across Southern California will be offering shots again this week to healthcare workers, first responders and older residents, but supplies are going to be limited as more people who already have received their first dose arrive for a second.
That is likely going to mean significantly fewer doses for those who need their first inoculation.
California is at the bottom of the pack compared with other states.
According to The Times’ vaccination tracker, California has provided nearly 2.2 million doses of vaccine. That includes 552,000 in Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties and 223,000 in the Inland Empire and San Diego County.
Authorities have said the biggest problem right now is getting enough vaccine to meet demand.
At current rates, it could be June before Californians 65 and older are fully vaccinated. And full vaccination in places such as L.A. County might not be possible until 2022. Los Angeles County officials said that if weekly vaccine shipments were to increase to 500,000 doses, the county potentially could immunize 75% of its adult population by midsummer.
The action by state officials means restaurants and gyms could soon reopen outdoor services. Counties will make the final call, however.
Officials warn that vaccines will be in short supply in part because people who already have received their first shot now need their second. That will reduce the amount of medicine available for people seeking their first vaccination. Officials have estimated that if L.A. County gets 140,000 new doses this week, those needing a second dose would get the lion’s share.
On Friday, Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the county’s Department of Public Health, said Friday that “a majority of the supply [this] week will go for second doses. ... There will be some first doses offered, but we want to be very careful because we can’t predict, unfortunately, the supply chain, even several weeks forward.”
Simon acknowledged that there was tension “between wanting to get as many people vaccinated with that first dose [and] with trying to make sure that everybody who’s vaccinated gets the full sequence of two doses.”
In Riverside County, appointments for 10,000 vaccine doses available this week were quickly snapped up.
L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner says reopening K-12 campuses will require the vaccination of teachers and staff. But UTLA says virus case rates also must drop.
Los Angeles County: Residents 65 and older can sign up for an appointment at the county Public Health Department’s website. Residents without computer access can call (833) 540-0473 between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. for assistance with reservations. The city of Los Angeles is also offering the vaccine to those 65 or older, through a different online portal. That website connects patients to mass-vaccination sites.
Orange County: The county opened a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination site Saturday at Soka University in Aliso Viejo. The county launched its first vaccination center at Disneyland in Anaheim. Eventually, the county plans to operate five centers, which health officials say is key to their goal of getting all residents vaccinated by July 4. For now, only healthcare workers, residents of long-term-care facilities and people 65 and older are eligible to be vaccinated at the centers.
Ventura County: The county is offering vaccinations to residents 75 and older, who can sign up for appointments online or by calling (805) 477-7151.
Inland Empire: Information for Riverside County residents can be found at the Riverside University Health System, while San Bernardino County residents can consult the county’s website. Both counties are offering vaccines with various restrictions at multiple locations.
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