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San Diego County opens new vaccine super site. Meanwhile, some L.A. sites close

Aerial view of the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
The Del Mar Fairgrounds is opening a COVID-19 vaccine super site.
(John Gibbins / San Diego Union-Tribune)

California’s latest mass vaccination center will open Friday at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County.

It’s the fifth mass vaccination center to open in the county, which is forging ahead with new sites. That strategy has paid off so far: San Diego is among the leaders in the state in the number of vaccines it has administered for its population, around 15,200 doses per 100,000 residents.

In Santa Clara County, a mass-vaccination site has launched at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The site is the fourth large-scale vaccination site in that county and could become the largest vaccine hub in the state if it meets its goal of doling out 15,000 shots a day once vaccine supplies increase.

In Los Angeles County, however, several city-run vaccination sites — including the largest at Dodger Stadium — are being forced to close because of a shortage of vaccines. Several large county-run sites are remaining open but are limited to second doses only.

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This week, the city of L.A. received 16,000 doses, only about 3,000 more than city officials have on average administered per day across the five inoculation sites, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said. By comparison, the city secured 90,000 doses last week and 29,000 the week before, he said.

Until much larger vaccine shipments start rolling in consistently, officials say, it will take time to finish vaccinating those who are eligible.

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Officials throughout California have lamented the limited and variable vaccine shipments they’ve received, saying they have the capability to provide significantly more shots.

“Supply is the issue. That’s the constraint,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said this week. “So when you ask me, ‘What are we doing to vaccinate this group, that group, what about this group, what about that group?’ It’s an issue now of scarcity. It’s an issue of supply.”

At the Del Mar Fairgrounds site in San Diego County, shots will be offered to county residents who are 65 and older, work in healthcare, or live or work in long-term care facilities. Both drive-through and walk-up vaccinations will be offered, but those seeking shots need an appointment from the San Diego County COVID-19 vaccine site.

“This super station will be the next major part of our regional vaccination strategy,” county Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer said in a statement.

“We are preparing this large venue to ensure we are ready to ramp up vaccination distribution as quickly as possible when more doses become available.”

Times staff writers Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin II, Leila Seidman and Matthew Ormseth contributed to this report.


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