Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday that five of the city’s COVID-19 vaccine sites will close Friday and Saturday due to a lack of supplies.
“We’re vaccinating people faster than new vials are arriving here in Los Angeles,” he said at a Feb. 11 briefing. “And I’m very concerned right now” that the vaccine supply is “uneven” and “unpredictable,” he added.
Garcetti said that 293,252 vaccine doses have been administered in Los Angeles to date, with the average daily number of vaccinations totaling 13,051, which is a 27 percent increase over the prior week. Some 98 percent of vaccines delivered have already been administered.
“That’s a number I’ve pushed our people very hard [on], to not sit on vaccines, to not waste a single dose and to make sure that we are doing everything we can to get that day where something new opens, that day when the economy comes back, that day when we can hold a loved one that much closer,” he said.
The problem is there aren’t enough vaccines, he said.
“We still aren’t receiving enough doses soon enough,” Garcetti said. “Unfortunately, it means we will have to temporarily close Dodger Stadium and the other four non-mobile vaccination sites for two days,” he added.
The sites, which can handle thousands of shots daily, will not reopen until the city gets more supplies, which Garcetti said he hopes will come next Tuesday or Wednesday.
“This will not affect those who are waiting for a second dose, but it will prevent us from moving forward with new first doses,” he said.
California has edged past New York in the number of deaths due to COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University data reported Thursday. California’s death toll reached 45,496, surpassing New York’s toll of 45,312, according to the tally.
California health officials said in a statement Thursday that fewer than 5 percent of Californians tested are now turning up positive results, and daily confirmed infection cases have dropped to about 8,400 from a high of more than 50,000 a month ago.
At the same time, troubling COVID-19 mutations are making their way into California, with the first cases of a South African strain reported Wednesday in Alameda and Santa Clara counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a briefing Wednesday. Another COVID-19 variant from the United Kingdom has appeared in several counties, he said.
According to Newsom, the state has fewer than 1,500 identified cases of different variants of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus in total.
Scientists and health officials fear the variants could be more contagious, less responsive to treatments, and more likely to re-infect people who have already had COVID-19.