Home Health News COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments Available, LA County Says – NBC Southern California

COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments Available, LA County Says – NBC Southern California

10 min read

Los Angeles County officials said Sunday that appointments are available this week at the county’s five large coronavirus vaccination centers at Magic Mountain, the Pomona Fairplex, Cal State Northridge, the Forum in Inglewood and the County Office of Education in Downey.

Appointments can be booked at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/vaccine/index.htm.

Residents who receive their first dose of the vaccine at a county-run large capacity vaccination site will be provided the date and location to receive their second dose, and automatically registered for their second dose appointment. They will also get email reminders.

On Sunday, the county reported 8,243 new cases of COVID-19 and 98 additional deaths, bringing the county’s totals to 1,073,111 cases and 15,260 fatalities.

There were 6,697 people with COVID-19 hospitalized in the county as of Sunday, down from 6,881 a day earlier. That number had reached a peak of more than 8,000 earlier this year.

But while that number is down, health care workers and ICU capacity remain overwhelmed, with the Southern California Region continuing to have 0% available ICU space and remaining under the Regional Stay at Home Order.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health have been urging patience among residents anxious to get a COVID-19 vaccination, with supplies remaining woefully short and the overburdened online reservation system leaving many people frustrated as they try to schedule appointments.

“We are also seeing a decline in hospitalizations and several other indicators we track, including test positivity rate, percentage of emergency department visits associated with COVID-19 and percentage of respiratory specimens positive for COVID at sentinel laboratory surveillance sites,” said Dr. Paul Simon, the Department’s chief science officer.

“However, despite these promising trends, I do want to emphasize that the numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths remain far too high,” he said. “So while there’s reason to be hopeful, we all must remain vigilant and continue to be disciplined, wearing masks, physically distancing when outside the home, avoiding gatherings and washing our hands frequently.”

Simon said the five sites — each capable of administering 4,000 shots per day — will be operating at much lower capacity this week, likely in the 2,000 to 2,500 range.

The county expects to receive about 143,900 more doses of vaccine this week. However, since people need to receive two doses of the medication, spaced three to four weeks apart, the bulk of the vaccine coming this week will be used to administer second doses to people who have already received the first shot. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer estimated earlier that only 37,900 of the new doses will be available for people to receive their first dose.

Simon said Friday that the most recent figures showed that 441,140 doses of vaccine have already been administered in the county, although he said that number is likely much higher due to delays in tallying vaccination totals. As of this week, the county had received about 853,000 total doses.

Simon said people should not look at those numbers and assume there are 400,000 unused doses in the county, noting again the lag in vaccination reports and the daily administration of doses. If the county’s weekly allotment doesn’t dramatically improve beyond the current average of about 150,000, “the vaccination effort will likely extend well into 2022,” Simon said.

He said if the county can get its allocation increased to 500,000 per week, “we would have the potential to reach 75% of the adult population in the county, or 6 million adults, by mid-summer.”

In the meantime, he urged patience, saying, “We do understand how important it is to get vaccine out as quickly as possible.”

He said the state is upgrading its vaccine-appointment website, to which the county system is linked, so it should operate more smoothly this week.

The county also has a call-in reservation system, which is available from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 833-540-0473. But that line should be used only by people unable to use the website, since call volumes are already exceedingly high, Simon said.

On Saturday, the health department confirmed 269 new deaths and 10,537 new coronavirus cases.

The COVID-19 surge that started around Thanksgiving and continued through the New Year appears to be leveling off. The focus now is getting people vaccinated, but there’s a shortage of doses around the country and even in LA County. Michelle Valles reports for the NBC4 News on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021.

There were 6,881 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, and 24% are in the ICU. This is the first time since Dec. 29 that daily hospitalizations decreased to less than 7,000 patients. But while that number is down, health care workers and ICU capacity remain overwhelmed, with the Southern California Region continuing to have 0% available ICU space and remaining under the Regional Stay at Home Order.

Eight new cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) were also reported. This brings the total cases of MIS-C in L.A. County to 62 children, one of whom has died. All 62 were hospitalized and 45% were treated in the ICU. Of the children with MIS-C, 31% were under 5 years old; 37% were between 5 and 11; and 32% were between 12 and 20. Latino/Latinx children account for nearly 74% of the reported cases.

MIS-C is an inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19. Symptoms include fever that does not go away and inflamed body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. If you believe your child is displaying MIS-C symptoms, contact your primary care or urgent care provider. Seek emergency care for critical or life-threatening conditions. If you do not have a primary care provider, dial 211 and LA County will help connect you to one.

Also Sunday, officials announced the planned opening of a pop-up COVID-19 walk-up testing site at Veteran’s Memorial Park, 6364 Zindell Ave. in Commerce. The site will open Tuesday.

Tests are free and proof of medical insurance is not required. All on-site testing will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Jan. 26-30.

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