By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
As of Monday, March 1, additional sectors are now eligible for vaccination in Los Angeles County, including those who work in food and agriculture, education and childcare, and emergency services.
Nearly 1.2 million people across the county fall into these newly approved categories, according to data provided by Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Vaccines will continue to be offered to healthcare workers, staff and residents at skilled nursing and long-term care facilities, and LA County residents 65 and over.
Public Health reported that following a surge of COVID-19 cases in healthcare workers during fall through winter, cases have dropped to the “lowest they have been since the beginning of the pandemic,” as overall cases decline and many healthcare workers have been vaccinated.
“During the week of November 29, there were over 1,800 cases among healthcare workers,” according to Public Health on Monday, March 1. “The week of February 14, there were just 69 cases. Among workers in skilled nursing facilities, a group experiencing one-fourth of healthcare worker cases, there is a significant decrease in cases. The week of November 29, there were 434 cases among these healthcare workers, and the week of February 14, there were 10.”
As of Monday, nearly 1.96 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the county, of which 600,497 people have received second doses—though the county stressed even more doses could be administered if supply allowed.
“Across sectors, there is much more capacity to vaccinate, though there is simply not enough supply of vaccine to offer more appointments,” Public Health reported. “Our large capacity vaccination sites alone could provide 142,000 additional doses this week if there was sufficient vaccine supply.”
As of February 20, Public Health reported that 5,143 residents of Pacific Palisades had been vaccinated, which is 30.4% of the population, with an additional 992 in Palisades Highlands, 31.2%.
“LA County is working to ensure that eligible residents and workers in the hardest hit communities have increased access to vaccines,” according to Public Health. “Access to people living in communities that have been the hardest hit by the pandemic remains a challenge, and we are continuing to employ strategies to increase access to vaccinations for these groups.”
The agency is encouraging more restricted clinics for residents in these communities so they have access to appointments and don’t have to travel far to receive it, as well as shifting some allocations to these smaller sites.
Public Health reported that following Johnson & Johnson receiving emergency use authorization for its vaccine this week, it is likely that the county will begin to see doses as early as next week.
“As Johnson & Johnson doses come into LA County, this vaccine will be offered at a number of sites, including the large capacity vaccination sites,” Public Health reported. “All three vaccines are extraordinarily powerful and, in clinical trials, were 100% effective preventing hospitalizations and deaths.”
As the Post went to print Tuesday, the number of positive cases across LA County when factoring in Long Beach and Pasadena had reached 1,194,242, with 21,554 deaths. Pacific Palisades had reached 748 cases, with an additional 132 in Palisades Highlands.
According to Public Health, Pacific Palisades had a two-week case rate of 27 as of Monday, March 1, with Palisades Highlands at two.
For the most up-to-date information on vaccinations and appointments, visit vaccinatelacounty.com.
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