With vaccine eligibility increasing subsequent week to all residents aged 50 and over, a Los Angeles County well being official Friday warned that getting an appointment for a shot shall be initially tough due to continued shortage of vaccine provides, however he mentioned the scenario will enhance.
The county subsequent week is definitely set to obtain its largely weekly allotment of vaccine to date — 338,100 doses — and tens of hundreds extra doses shall be despatched immediately to different native vaccination suppliers, corresponding to pharmacies and well being care facilities.
But when eligibility expands to these 50 and over on Thursday, it can add an estimated 800,000 to 1 million individuals to the pool of residents competing for restricted doses. That’s on prime of the thousands and thousands of people who find themselves already eligible for the pictures.
“There will undoubtedly be a rush come April 1,” said Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the county Department of Public Health. “…I need to be sure that the general public acknowledges that there could also be challenges to getting an appointment instantly. It simply, once more, displays the restricted provide of vaccine.
“Even with an increased supply of vaccine, we certainly can’t handle a million people over that first week, given all the other groups that are also currently being vaccinated,” he said. “But I’d anticipate over the next a number of weeks, the demand will diminish a bit and issues will open up, significantly because the vaccine provide continues to improve. I encourage individuals to simply be affected person. If they are not in a position to get an appointment instantly, wait a week or so and I imagine issues shall be simpler to navigate.”
Plan Your Vaccine: How and the place to get vaccinated.
It was unclear when individuals in the newly eligible group shall be in a position to begin making appointments on the state’s MyTurn web site — which is the principle clearinghouse for appointments. Simon famous that there are additionally separate appointment web sites for different suppliers, corresponding to native pharmacies, and there was no particular timeline on after they would begin accepting appointments for the brand new group.
Eligibility will broaden once more on April 15, when everybody aged 16 and up shall be in a position to obtain the vaccine. Simon warned that of the three presently out there vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — solely the Pfizer vaccine is accepted to be used in individuals underneath 18, so individuals aged 16 and 17 can have to guarantee they make appointments at a Pfizer vaccination web site.
The county this week expanded vaccine eligibility to extra courses of employees, together with gardeners and landscapers, nannies and personal child-care employees and housekeepers, so long as all of them work at the very least 20 hours per week.
California COVID-19 Vaccinations
The map tracks the variety of doses administered by a recipient’s county of residence in accordance to the The California Department of Public Health.
Flight crews primarily based in Los Angeles County had been additionally added to the eligibility listing.
As of this week, a complete of three,794,829 doses have been administered in Los Angeles County by the varied suppliers. That complete is greater than 2.5 million first doses — together with about 67,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine — and about 1.2 million second doses.
Simon mentioned that whilst vaccine eligibility is expanded to extra teams of individuals, the county will proceed to focus its efforts on lower-income neighborhoods which have been onerous hit by the pandemic. In truth, 65% of all doses the county receives subsequent week shall be directed to such neighborhoods.
The county is constant to put together for an anticipated sharp improve in vaccine provide, one thing that is anticipated to happen by late April. Simon reiterated that the county is working with its suppliers to broaden infrastructure at current vaccine websites and put together for brand new ones, in hopes of constructing countywide capability to 1 million doses per week. The county presently has capability to administer about 600,000 doses per week.
Gov. Gavin Newsom mentioned this week the state can have the capability to administer 4 million doses per week by the tip of April. But Blue Shield, which now oversees vaccine distribution in the state, introduced Friday that the 4-million capability statewide has already been reached.
But for now, general vaccine provide stays effectively wanting that degree.
With demand on the rise for vaccines, Simon warned that scams relating to the pictures are on the rise.
“If someone offers to sell you an appointment to be vaccinated, it’s a scam,” he said. “If somebody affords to promote you a vaccine, get you a low-cost deal or get your vaccine underneath the desk, once more, it is a scam.”
He mentioned the Federal Trade Commission is now warning of scams involving purported on-line surveys in regards to the vaccine.
“People across the country are reporting getting emails and texts asking them to complete a time-limited survey about the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said. “And in change individuals are supplied a free reward however requested to pay transport charges. No legit surveys in regards to the COVID-19 vaccine will ask to your bank card or checking account quantity to pay for a free reward.”
On Friday, the county reported one other 39 deaths due to COVID-19, whereas Long Beach well being officers added another, rising the countywide complete from all through the pandemic to 23,056.
The county additionally reported one other 859 circumstances, noting that roughly 200 of these had been the results of a reporting backlog. Long Beach added 74 new circumstances and Pasadena reported eight. The new circumstances lifted the cumulative complete to 1,217,116.
According to state figures, there have been 676 individuals hospitalized in the county due to COVID as of Friday, down from 692 on Thursday. The variety of individuals in intensive care ticked downward, from 183 on Thursday to 170 on Friday.