Why L.A. is closing some vaccination sites, including Dodgers Stadium

California

Los Angeles’ mass inoculation site at Dodger Stadium and other city-run vaccine centers will have to shut down later this week because the city doesn’t have enough vaccine doses on hand, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday.

The city expects to use up all the Moderna vaccine doses it has for first dose appointments this week by Thursday, Garcetti said in a livestreamed briefing Wednesday evening.

That means Dodger Stadium and the four other city-operated vaccine distribution sites will be closed Friday and Saturday. The city will continue running a mobile clinic meant to target underserved communities.

“We’re vaccinating people faster than new vials are arriving here in Los Angeles, and I’m very concerned,” the mayor said, calling the supply chain “uneven” and “unpredictable.”

This week, the city has administered an average of 13,000 doses each day at its vaccine centers, a 27% increase since last week. But the city hadn’t received enough supply to give out 16,000 doses this week, Garcetti said.

“So our week’s supply is only one day’s supply,” he said.

The number of doses the city received this week is down 90,000 from the week before, and 29,000 from the week before that, the mayor said.

“The problem is, we still aren’t receiving enough doses soon enough,” he said. “That’s not just something for the city of L.A.”

No second doses will be affected by the closures, according to Garcetti.

Earlier Wednesday, officials had said that while massive L.A. County coronavirus vaccine sites are prioritizing getting people second doses, first shots were still being administered at city locations, including Dodger Stadium.

This week, the county received 218,000 doses of the vaccine, but 55% were expected to go out to those getting their second shot amid scarce supplies.

Seven super sites run by the county, including Cal State Northridge and the Forum in Inglewood, are focused on those second shots this week, officials had previously announced.

Residents who qualify to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, whether it’s the first or second dose, can still make an appointment at a city-run site, officials had said.

Though officials indicated appointments may still be up for grabs at sites run by the city this week, many report having difficulty getting an appointment through the city’s online booking portal, carbonhealth.com.

David Ortiz, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department said there are 11,000 vaccine doses available at Dodger Stadium Wednesday, but that appointments were 98% booked.

“Persistence is the key here, keep trying,” Ortiz said. “As dosages come in and we get them, we make them available for appointments.”

Although about 80% of eligible seniors in L.A. County are still waiting a vaccine, public health officials on Wednesday said they expect to begin offering appointments to teachers, food service workers and police officers in two to three weeks.

More than 1 million doses of the vaccine have already been administered in Los Angeles County, officials said.

As of Wednesday, 3,434 new coronavirus cases were reported by the county, bringing the total to 1,155,309 since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, 141 new deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 18,500. A total of 4,079 people are currently hospitalized with the virus, officials said.

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