LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Although there has been a sharp drop in the demand for the coronavirus vaccine, Los Angeles County’s public health chief said Thursday there are no immediate plans to close mass vaccination sites.
L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said Thursday the vaccine super sites will remain open, although they have been slightly downsized.
This comes after Orange County announced earlier in the day that it would be closing all its large-scale vaccine sites in June.
Ferrer said the county does not want to prematurely close the large-scale sites without ensuring the communities in which they’re located will still have easy access to vaccinations. She also noted that the federal government could open vaccinations to children ages 12 to 15 as early as next week, potentially increasing demand for the Pfizer vaccine, which has cold-storage requirements the county is equipped to meet.
“So that will play into our decision as well,” Ferrer said. “I don’t think we have any intent at this moment to close any of our sites. What we’re doing is, we’re looking very carefully at how many doses we’re administering at those sites, but also what role we’re playing in the community. Who’s coming? If we were to close that site, how easy is it for somebody to go somewhere else to get their vaccines?”
She added that the county sites are still administering about 1,000 vaccinations a day.
“That’s a lot of vaccines,” she said. “So before we close anything or even think about closing anything, I want to make sure that there’s plenty of places within a mile or two of where we are where people can continue to get vaccinated.”
Ferrer reported Monday that vaccine administration had dropped by 24% in a one-week period, raising concerns that demand for the shots in L.A. County had peaked. As of Sunday, just 39% of county residents have been fully vaccinated.
Last week, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that they city-run Dodger Stadium vaccine super site, one of the largest in the nation, would shutter by the end of May. He noted that the number of doses being offered by the city will not change, but instead be redistributed to walk-up centers and mobile clinics.
L.A. County-run mass vaccination sites are located at The Forum in Inglewood, the Pomona Fairplex, the Balboa Sports Complex in Encino, Cal State Northridge, the Palmdale Oasis Park Recreation Center, the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, the L.A. County Office of Education in Downey, the Antelope Valley Health Center and the Eugene A Obregon Park – Gymnasium in East Los Angeles.
Appointments are not required at any of these locations.
L.A. County reported 414 COVID-19 cases Thursday and 19 deaths, bringing the overall pandemic total to 1,234,782 cases and 23,966 deaths from the disease.
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