Los Angeles, CA — Seeking to support the County’s efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the tragic impact on its residents, Supervisors Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger are calling for additional flexibility in vaccinating as many residents as possible and a process to begin vaccinating those 65 and older.
“Governor Newsom has encouraged all counties to open up vaccination appointments to residents 65 and older so that we can protect our residents who are most vulnerable to this virus,” said Supervisor Hahn. “L.A. County needs to follow the State’s lead without further delay.”
“Efficient and effective distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to our residents and communities is the most critical hurdle in our ability to recover from this virus,” said Supervisor Barger. “While we continue to prioritize the vaccination of healthcare workers who have been on the frontlines caring for our vulnerable residents, we must add flexibility to this process and begin efforts to vaccinate those 65 and older.”
Los Angeles County, in accordance with California guidelines, continues to vaccinate its healthcare workers as the priority population in Phase 1A. The County expects to complete this phase in the coming weeks given the size and scope of the region. The state recently announced accelerated prioritization of residents 65 and older in response to further recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.
While the County still prioritizes the vaccination of healthcare workers, it is crucial to implement flexibility to vaccinate as many residents as possible and a process to begin vaccinating those 65 and older. Supervisors Barger and Hahn are calling for the County to begin vaccinating those 65 and older as soon as possible.
The County must ensure that its frontline healthcare workers are protected and limit the spread of COVID-19 from staff in its healthcare facilities. Nevertheless, more than 70% of COVID-19 related fatalities have been among residents over the age of 65, and the immediate vaccination of the County’s most vulnerable neighbors cannot be delayed.
This is in line with guidelines from Dr. Anthony Fauci who has encouraged opening vaccination eligibility to people aged 65 and older, stating “when people are ready to get vaccinated, we’re going to move right on to the next level, so that there are not vaccine doses that are sitting in a freezer or refrigerator where they could be getting into people’s arms.”