Photo by Ande Richards.

Only Second Doses Available Next Week at Large-Scale County-Run Vaccination Sites

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Californians between the ages of 16 and 64 who are disabled or at high risk for extreme illness from COVID-19 will be eligible for vaccination starting next month, per state officials.

Los Angeles County health officials reported 3,497 new cases of COVID-19 and 137 new related deaths Friday, bringing the county’s tally to 1,161,773 confirmed infections and 18,789 deaths. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

California officials announced that people between the ages of 16 and 64 who are disabled or at high risk of mortality from COVID-19 will be eligible to get the vaccine starting March 15. The underlying conditions explicitly stated include cancer; chronic kidney disease of stage four or above; chronic pulmonary disease; Down syndrome; immunocompromised immune system from solid organ transplant; pregnancy; sickle cell disease; heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (excluding hypertension); severe obesity; and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. — Los Angeles Times

Starting Tuesday, Angelenos will be able to receive a COVID-19 shot at the newly launched mass vaccination site at Cal State Los Angeles from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. The site will offer vaccines for drive-thru and walk-up appointments and will also deploy a mobile clinic to local community centers and schools. — CBS Los Angeles

Rite Aid joins CVS in offering COVID-19 vaccines across California. The pharmacy chain will receive 100 doses per week at more than half of its locations statewide through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Appointments are required. — KTLA

Large-scale county-run vaccination sites — the Pomona Fairplex, Magic Mountain, the Forum, the county Office of Education in Downey and Cal State Northridge — will only administer second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine next week, according to Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the county Department of Public Health. First doses will be available at other locations like health centers and pharmacies. — Deadline

Thursday, February 11, 2021

City-Run Vaccination Cites Forced to Close Amid Supply Shortage

Researchers say the COVID-19 variant first seen in Los Angeles is responsible for more than a third of new infections in California.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he believes public health officials should be able to start vaccinating the wider population by April, allowing for “everybody and anybody in any category” to be inoculated against COVID-19. “From then on, it would likely take several more months just logistically to get vaccine into people’s arms, so that, hopefully, as we get into the middle and end of the summer, we could have accomplished the goal of what we’re talking about: namely, the overwhelming majority of people in this country having gotten vaccinated,” he said during an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show.” — Los Angeles Times

City-run vaccination cites had to turn people away Thursday, as they ran out of doses sooner than expected. Los Angeles only received 16,000 doses this week as opposed to the 90,000 doses delivered last week. The sites will reopen once L.A. receives more vaccines, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti, who urged state and federal authorities to send the city more doses. — KTLA

Researchers say the coronavirus variant first identified in Los Angeles back in July now accounts for more than a third of new infections in the state. Not only that, but the local variant has now spread across the U.S. and to six other countries. — Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

CDC: Double Masking May Reduce COVID-19 Transmission

Schools may soon reopen as L.A. County prepares to open vaccine eligibility to teachers in the coming weeks.

L.A. County health officials reported 3,434 new cases of COVID-19 and 141 related deaths today. The latest figures bring the county’s tally to 1,155,309 cases and 18,500 deaths. There are 3,973 people currently hospitalized for the virus. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Seniors 65 and older and health care workers living in South L.A.’s District 9 can get their COVID-19 shot at a mobile vaccination site just opened at South Park Recreation Center as part of a four-day blitz organized by Councilman Curren Price. Call (323) 846-2651 to schedule an appointment. — ABC Los Angeles

Wearing a cloth mask over a medical one may shield the wearer against the coronavirus more thoroughly, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adjusting a medical mask to reach a tighter fit may provide similar protection as well. — Los Angeles Times

Two cases of B.1.351, also known as the South African coronavirus variant, have been reported in Alameda and Santa Clara counties, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom. While some evidence suggests the current vaccines might be less effective against this variant of the virus, there is no proof it causes a more serious case of COVID-19, according to the CDC. — Path

About a third of U.S. adults are hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research — casting doubts on the nation’s prospects of reaching herd immunity. The poll found that 67% of Americans plan to get the shot or have already done so. Meanwhile, 15% say they won’t do it, and 17% say they probably won’t.Los Angeles Times

In the race to reopen schools, L.A. County’s teachers may be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine within two to three weeks, according to the public health department, even as the county struggles to procure enough doses to inoculate all eligible seniors. Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to announce a deal for reopening elementary schools, acknowledging that teacher vaccination is part of the negotiations. — Patch

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Medical Cannabis Workers Moved Up on State’s Vaccination Plan

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors approved a motion aimed at making vaccination sites more accessible to people without a car.

L.A. County health officials reported 3,353 new cases of COVID-19 and 227 new deaths today. The county has recorded 1,1452,239 cases and 18,360 COVID-19 related deaths to date. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

California moved workers in the medical cannabis industry higher up on the state’s vaccination tiered priority system to Phase 1a, alongside health care workers. Those working in food and agriculture for growing, production, storage, transport and distribution also became eligible for Phase 1b. — Patch

Researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering announced they have developed a method using artificial intelligence to speed up the development of vaccines. “This AI framework, applied to the specifics of this virus, can provide vaccine candidates within seconds and move them to clinical trials quickly to achieve preventive medical therapies without compromising safety,” said Paul Bogdan, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at USC Viterbi and corresponding author of the study. — ABC Los Angeles

Currently, 300 vaccine distribution sites dot L.A. County, but people who don’t or can’t drive face difficulties getting to one. So the county’s Emergency Management and Public Health departments have been directed to find ways to re-route existing bus routes closer to vaccination sites or find other ways to make it easier for people to get to and from the sites without a car. — LAist

Monday, February 8, 2021

L.A. County Mass Vaccination Sites to Administer Second Doses Only This Week

Disney will call back around 1,000 former employees for a food and beverage festival at California Adventure Park.

L.A. County public health officials confirmed 2,742 new cases of COVID-19 and 93 new related deaths today. There are 4,186 people currently hospitalized for the virus, with 29% of them in an intensive care unit. These numbers may reflect a reporting lag from the weekend. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

As L.A. County’s vaccine doses remain in short supply, only residents who have already received their first shot will be inoculated at the large county-operated sites — Magic Mountain, the Pomona Fairplex, The Forum, Cal State Northridge, El Sereno Recreation Center, the L.A. County Office of Education in Downey and the Balboa Sports Complex in Encino — for the remainder of the week. — CBS Los Angeles

Disney announced it would recall about 1,000 employees who were laid off or furloughed due to the pandemic to staff a food and beverage festival at its California Adventure Park tentatively scheduled for mid-March. — Los Angeles Times

Uber founder Garrett Camp’s newest venture, Aero, a semi-private jet company, launched its first flight last week, with plans to offer international destinations in the coming months even as governments worldwide work to curtail travel. CEO Uma Subramanian says Aero’s planes are designed to offer virus-free flights, but experts say the company’s measures are unlike to stop the virus from spreading. — Vice News

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