L.A. Mayor Garcetti holds COVID-19 briefing as lack of vaccine supply continues to stall rollout

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti briefed the public on his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic at 5:15 p.m. Thursday.

The briefing comes as Garcetti has been focused on propping up the city’s five new vaccination distribution centers, which this week joined others countywide in expanding availability to residents 65 and older.

Garcetti said he skipped a trip to Biden’s inauguration — of which he was a co-chair — to be at Dodger Stadium, and was even on hand when former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger got his shot at the stadium parking lot Wednesday.

But the vaccine’s expansion older Angelenos has been met with hiccups as health officials warn of extremely limited supplies.

“We just are not receiving enough vaccine doses to move as quickly as we would like,” Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, said Wednesday.

Next week, nearly three-quarters of the vaccine doses the county is set to receive will be allocated toward second doses. That leaves only 37,900 shots to administer as a first dose, according to public health officials.

However, some more doses may be freed up after state officials said Wednesday night that it is safe to resume using a batch of the Moderna vaccine following an investigation into reports of people falling ill. The decision was expected to free up around 330,000 doses statewide.

Angelenos faced further frustration when the county’s website for making appointments, vaccinatelacounty.com, crashed amid excessive demand shortly after availability was offered to those 65 and older.

Ferrer said the county plans to unveil a new online appointment scheduling system next week, and capacity will be expanded at its scheduling call center, accessible at 833-540-0473 between 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily.

City and county residents can also get an appointment through the city’s vaccine portal.  

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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