Some people this week waited in line for up to five hours at Dodger Stadium — the largest vaccination site in the United States — amid low supply of the Covid-19 vaccine in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
Most of these individuals were over 65 years old.
“Some of the brave folks who came forward I know waited for up to five hours,” Garcetti said. “I worked that line apologizing to people,” he added.
The mass drive-through vaccination site stayed open until 11 p.m. PT Wednesday, three hours past the scheduled closing time, to assure everyone in line was immunized, Garcetti said. Officials have since increased staffing and deployed additional resources to reduce wait times. The average wait time Thursday was 30-40 minutes, Garcetti said.
“There may be a wait … so use the restroom beforehand, bring water and snacks, and make sure your gas tank is filled up or your car is charged,” Garcetti said.
While there are nearly 1.4 million people over the age of 65 in LA, only about 850,000 first doses have been delivered due to strained supply, Garcetti said. If production of the vaccine does not ramp up, officials say it will take until June 2021 for all healthcare workers and seniors over 65 in LA to get vaccinated with their second dose.
“We’re working day and night to expedite this process to deliver more of these vaccine to more Angelenos,” Garcetti said.
To date, five LA city sites have vaccinated more than 80,000 people. This week, Los Angeles County vaccination centers have immunized 46,635 people, a 90% increase since last week.
Surge in cases: LA County added 8,512 new coronavirus cases and 262 additional deaths on Thursday. According to Garcetti, the last time the county reported under 10,000 cases for two consecutive days was in the first week of December.
The seven-day average of new cases has decreased by 30%, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Hospitalizations have also decreased this week, down 7% since last Thursday.
To date, the county has reported a total of 1,046,021 Covid-19 cases and 14,641 deaths.