LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti echoed words of concern as he announced Wednesday that the city’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines is extremely low.
During a press briefing, he announced that by Thursday the city would have exhausted its supply of first-dose Moderna vaccines, resulting in the temporary closure of Dodger Stadium and four other non-mobile vaccination sites.
The temporary closure will last for two days, Friday and Saturday, with the hopes of reopening Tuesday or Wednesday.
"We still aren’t receiving enough vaccines. We are vaccinating people faster than new vials are arriving here in Los Angeles, and I am very concerned right now."
The closures will not affect those waiting for a second dose, but will prevent the city from moving forward with new first doses.
He said the vaccine supply is uneven, unpredictable, and too often inequitable.
Garcetti said the city received only 16,000 new COVID-19 doses this week, which is equivalent to the amount the city gives out in a single day.
"That is unacceptable, Los Angeles needs more doses,'' he stated.
According to the mayor, if Los Angeles receives enough supply the city's sites can complete five million vaccinations by July.
"Give us the supply and we’ll meet the need by July," he said.
In a briefing with county partners, he learned that other cities with smaller populations are receiving more doses than the entire county.
"When we look to places with fewer cases we see 50% more doses going to other cities. I don’t want to take a single dose away from them but it is only fair that Los Angeles gets a steady supply to meet the moment of our need."
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced they will be expanding their list of eligible residents to receive a vaccine. Those in the next tier include teachers, school workers, those working in food and agriculture, transportation workers and emergency workers and officers.
Garcetti expressed the concern that these groups can only be vaccinated if the city receives its supply.