Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city will briefly close five coronavirus vaccination sites – including the massive operation at Dodger Stadium – due to a lack of doses, calling the shortages “huge obstacle”.
Garcetti announced the closures in a virtual Covid-19 update on Wednesday, saying the city had burned 98% of its first-dose Moderna injections and would not be able to administer more until its supplies would not be replenished.
“By tomorrow, the city will have used up its current supply of Moderna vaccine for the first dose appointments. This is a huge hurdle in our race to vaccinate Angelenos, and unfortunately that means we will have to temporarily close Dodger Stadium and the other four non-mobile vaccination sites for two days, Friday and Saturday, ”the mayor said, adding“ This is not where I want to be; this is not where we deserve to be.
“We are vaccinating people faster than the new vials are arriving here in Los Angeles, and I’m very concerned right now. As mayor, I fear that our vaccine supply is uneven, unpredictable and all too often inequitable.
The mayor clarified that the closed vaccination sites would not affect those waiting for their second dose of Moderna vaccination, but “will prevent us from moving forward with new first doses until we get more vaccine.” Although Garcetti said the sites will close on Friday and Saturday, he also expressed hope that the facilities could reopen “Tuesday or Wednesday” next week, not knowing whether they will remain closed all the time.
Los Angeles County is expected to receive some 218,000 doses of the vaccine this week, according to KTLA, but more than half of those are expected to be distributed to those who receive their second injection.
While President Joe Biden has vowed to step up the vaccine rollout nationwide as part of a Covid-19 initiative during his first 100 days in office, Garcetti said the current number of vaccines in Los Angeles was “unacceptable”, although he was quick to add, “I’m not here to point fingers.
“As always, I am here to be a partner. But I want to be clear: Los Angeles needs more doses, ”said the mayor, who chaired fundraising for the Biden campaign.
To date, California has recorded nearly 3.5 million coronavirus cases and more than 35,000 deaths, placing it just ahead of New York City as the state with the most deaths on record, according to data collected by the ‘Johns Hopkins University. The state also leads the country by a long way in cumulative cases, with Texas coming in second with about a million fewer infections.
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