Letters to the Editor: L.A.’s vaccine rollout is utterly confusing and infuriating

Cars lined up between rows of orange cones in a parking lot
Mass vaccination of healthcare workers takes place at Dodger Stadium on Friday.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: How can Los Angeles County be botching this vaccine rollout so badly? The new mass-vaccination site at Dodger Stadium opened Friday with only a smattering of recipients, yet our elderly parents and grandparents, at highest risk of dying without a vaccine, are not yet allowed to be vaccinated.

On Wednesday, the rules changed in California, and while a lucky few older Angelenos received vaccines until pharmacies were shut down, people with confirmed appointments were turned down later in the day. Always proud of my city, I find it maddening that we are now envious of those lucky enough to live in other counties where older people can be vaccinated.

Los Angeles is dealing with unprecedented numbers of COVID-19 patients, and yet we are denying vaccination to our most vulnerable residents. It doesn’t take a virologist to understand that hospitalization and mortality rates will quickly drop as our older population is immunized.


Instead, the county is content to let vaccines go unused as the parking lot at Dodger Stadium sits almost empty. Shame on us.

Lauren Bahar, Encino


To the editor: U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is wrong in claiming that vaccination “is the most effective way to save lives now.”

Rather, staying at home, wearing a face mask at all times when away from home, and staying socially distant will save more lives now and into the future. The impact from these non-pharmacologic maneuvers in reducing deaths occurs within weeks, while the impact from vaccinations won’t occur for months.

Since the beginning of this nightmare, our leaders have spent too much time explaining the benefits of technology, first with testing and now vaccination, instead of emphasizing the primacy of behavior that stops this virus in its tracks.

It won’t win a Nobel Prize or make large profits, but do something good for this society by staying home, wearing a mask and keeping your distance.


Mark Tracy, M.D., Carlsbad


To the editor: I am very disappointed in the L.A. County Department of Public Health. In spite of our strict stay-home order, it is estimated that about one-third of county residents have been infected with the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.

Seniors are still dying like flies. The quicker you vaccinate them, the more lives you are going to save.

I thought retiring from a successful allergy and immunology practice of 50 years would be an enjoyable experience, but COVID-19 has turned me into a “grumpy old man.”

Frederick Ho, M.D., Los Angeles


To the editor: I am sure I am not the only resident of L.A. County over the age of 75 who was profoundly disappointed and upset when the state lowered the eligibility to receive a vaccine to anyone over 65.

This means that those of us over 75 will probably have to wait longer to be immunized. There are many more people over the age of 65 than 75, and the 65-75 age group accounts for the bulk of the baby boomer generation.


I feel abandoned by our healthcare system. A friend in the United Kingdom who is 80 is getting his shot next week. My sense is that it may be late February before I get an appointment, if I am still here by then.

Frances Vizier, West Hollywood


To the editor: The vaccine rollout in L.A. County is a mess.

My email inbox is getting filled with messages from multiple healthcare providers promising to let me know when the vaccine is available, but they cannot answer three basic questions: When, where and how can I get my shot? Stop sending me emails until those questions can be answered.

And as a 76-year-old person with multiple conditions, I don’t want to be told to sit in line at Dodger Stadium when there are multiple chain drugstores near me.

Lon M. Burns, Manhattan Beach