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LA is expanding its activities at COVID-19 vaccination sites



Providers in Los Angeles County administered 144,000 fewer doses of COVID-19 vaccine last week than the week before – the clearest evidence that dose demand has dropped significantly.

The trend has raised concerns in some areas that it may take longer than expected for the country’s most populous county to reach the level of widespread community expert inoculation, which believes it is necessary to end the pandemic if once happened, and officials rethought their operations in hopes of getting more people to roll up their sleeves.

“At this point, the goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to come in and feel comfortable getting their vaccine,”

; County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said during a news briefing.

During the week of April 17 to April 23, there were a total of 611,592 doses administered nationwide – an average of about 87,000 a day, according to Ferrer data released on Monday.

From April 24 to 30, the pace slowed significantly. Only 467,134 doses were distributed, averaging about 67,000 per day.

Ferrer predicted the decline last week, saying first-dose appointments fell by about 50 percent across the country.

“It’s not because we didn’t have supplies,” she said.

Experts say there are a number of reasons why the spread of the vaccine may be delayed. Some people may be unsure about the safety of the vaccine – or may be resistant to it at all. Others may believe that they do not need to be vaccinated, thinking that their youth or health will protect them from the most severe destruction of COVID. -19.

Although almost all the news related to the coronavirus coming out of Los Angeles County has been positive lately, officials say it would be premature to declare victory in the long-term battle against the pandemic.

“We have an emergency here because the more people get vaccinated, the less risk there is of both known and unknown variants of anxiety that stay here and take us back to a place where more people die, the more people are in hospitals. and we have more cases, ”Ferrer said.

But she said it was up to the county to make vaccination as easy as possible and work to dispel myths and alleviate residents’ worries.

“We are not here to force people to go and get vaccinated,” she said. “We are here to provide you with a lot of information to help you understand and understand how powerful these vaccines are, how big the difference is.”

There are a number of explanations for why certain groups of people may be more hesitant than others, such as concerns about vaccine safety and distrust of government guarantees due to past abuse by officials among people of color.

Some people who have survived COVID-19 may think that they do not need to be vaccinated, when in fact immunity against a natural infection may not be as fully protected or long-lasting as with subsequent vaccination. And some people may deny COVID-19 and do not believe the disease exists or is of great importance, said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, a medical epidemiologist and infectious disease expert at UCLA’s School of Public Health.

Kim-Farley said public health officials will need to work with behavioral scientists to produce specific messages for people in each of these categories. An important priority should be to promote vaccinations among people of color due to the higher risk of their communities from infections, serious illness and death.

Government officials must also take special care to contact key workers and make their vaccinations as convenient as possible. This includes civil servants who want jobs to offer on-site vaccination clinics and give workers paid leave to deal with the usually minor side effects – such as a sore arm, a mild fever or a feeling of tiredness – that can lead to a missed working day. each vaccination dose.

Dr. Kirsten Bibins-Domingo, an epidemiologist at the University of San Francisco, recently called on politicians to focus on easy steps that can be taken to encourage less impatient key workers to get vaccinated. According to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than half of key workers are worried about losing their jobs if side effects make them ill, and 4 out of 10 workers are unsure if they are eligible for the vaccine (all aged 16 and over). and is free).

That’s why Bibbins-Domingo suggests that better information and paid free time will help. “Focus on what’s easy,” she said.

About 54 percent of Los Angeles County residents aged 16 and over received at least one dose of the vaccine as of April 28, according to public health data. But only about 36% of Angelenos in this age group are fully vaccinated – meaning they have received either a single Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or both the required doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

Approximately half of all Californians have received at least one shot so far, and 32% have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts estimate that a significant proportion of the population, usually tied to 80% or more, will need to be vaccinated to deprive the coronavirus of new people to infect.

In a bid to reverse the recent slide, COVID-19 vaccine sites operated by the city of Los Angeles will open six days this week as part of a broader effort to expand access.

Along with the additional operating day, city officials said they would provide more opportunities for people to get vaccinated without having to make an appointment and open a new clinic with extended night hours.

A wireless emergency signal containing information about the vaccines will also be sent across the city on Monday afternoon, according to Mayor Eric Garsetti.

“Our city and state are at a critical turning point in our struggle to win COVID-19 – and just like in any phase of this crisis, we are facing the moment with urgent action: by rolling up our sleeves and shooting the hands of every Angeleno,” he said. he in a statement on Sunday.

LA Vaccine Sites in California, Hansen Dam, San Fernando Park, Lincoln Park, Pierce College, Christian Center Crenshaw, Southwest College Los Angeles, USA, Century City and – for now – Dodger Stadium will be open Monday through Saturday .

The city’s eight mobile clinics will remain on their typical schedule from Tuesday to Saturday.

Vaccines without an appointment will also be available on all mobile sites, as well as at locations in Lincoln Park, San Fernando Park, Pierce College, USC, Southwestern College in Los Angeles, Century City and Cal State LA, officials said.

One clinic, at the South Park Recreation Center, will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., providing a nightly option for those whose schedules would otherwise make vaccination difficult.

Overall, city officials estimate they will have the capacity to administer about 260,000 doses this week, the most so far.

“Los Angeles has enough doses to sustain our momentum, protect our communities from new options, and end this pandemic,” Garcetti said. “So we all need to do our part to encourage our families, friends, colleagues and neighbors to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

While removing barriers to access and availability of vaccines is one of the key elements of the puzzle, officials say an increasingly important part of the strategy for progress must persuade those who may be on the fence to be inoculated.

According to estimates by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s survey, only about 11 percent of Californians consider themselves hesitant vaccines, the lowest percentage in all states. except at four.

However, the reluctance to receive the vaccine is not the same across the country, and the presence of high levels of resistance in specific pockets will still give the coronavirus ample opportunities to spread.

To address concerns about detentions, health officials regularly report the high level of protection that vaccines provide against COVID-19.

Along with this pragmatic push is an exciting attraction: the prospect of returning to normal before the pandemic.

In California, which continues to record one of the lowest levels of coronavirus in the country, many long-imposed restrictions on business are granted or lifted – allowing residents more freedom to eat, eat, watch a movie or even visit Disneyland.

Public hospitals, once stretched to the limit, now care for fewer coronavirus-positive patients than at almost any other time during a pandemic.

And the number of Californians dying from COVID-19 has also dropped. Los Angeles County did not report any new COVID-19 deaths on either Sunday or Monday, figures that, while likely shortfall due to weekend reporting delays, nonetheless represent progress the region has made in the region. repulse the pandemic.

Conditions have improved to such an extent that officials have even set a target date for the full opening of the country’s economy: June 15th.

But that progress, while encouraging, is not inevitable, officials warn. Staying on the road to recovery will require more Californians to be vaccinated and, in the meantime, continue to adhere to the public health protocols that have been introduced for blunt transmission of coronavirus.




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