As the number of COVID-19 cases in Santa Monica and Los Angeles County continues to rise this week, local leaders are participating in a county-wide effort to rapidly increase the number of vaccinations and availability meetings.
âAs it is well known in LA County, we are not in a good situation with COVID-19. We are arguably, or indeed, the epicenter of this pandemic internationally, âsaid Acting City Manager Lane Dilg.
County leaders reported 11,366 cases and 108 deaths on Sunday, two days before the opening of five “mega” vaccine distribution sites in LA County.
There are 30 vaccination sites across the county that accept appointments for healthcare workers who have direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious material. Included are the âmegaâ sites located at Fairplex in Pomona, Forum in Inglewood, Cal State Northridge, LA County Office of Education in Downey and Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia.
Currently, the closest vaccination site to Santa Monica in the appointment system is the One Medical clinic located at 10000 W. Washington Blvd. in Culver City.
According to Dilg, the city is working closely with the county public health department and state leaders to bring a vaccination site to Santa Monica so that it can effectively facilitate vaccines to members of the local community.
To register for an appointment, healthcare providers should visit publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/vaccine/hcwsignup/pods. Healthcare workers must provide proof of employment using either an employee badge with a photo or photo ID and a secondary document such as a professional license, signed letter from employer or a pay stub.
The website will be continually updated with new locations and appointments and officials at DPH have said they intend to have a call center available in the coming days to serve healthcare workers. who need help making an appointment online.
Many hospitals, clinics, and residential care facilities outside of the county appointment system also offer on-site vaccinations directly to employees.
Low-risk healthcare workers, such as administrative support staff without in-person patient contact or veterinary medical staff, will be offered vaccinations in Phase 1B, which is expected to begin in early February, according to DPH. Phase 1B is for people over 65, some essential workers and those living in assembly places at risk of epidemics, including incarcerated people and the homeless.
County supervisors, Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn, are urging the county to immediately offer the vaccine to people 65 and older, as recommended by Governor Newsom.
âGavin Newsom has encouraged all counties to start immunizing residents 65 years of age and older so that we can protect our most vulnerable residents from this virus. LA County must follow the state’s lead without further delay, âHahn said in a tweet Monday.
LA County is currently recruiting licensed clinical professionals to volunteer for 10-hour shifts at its five mega vaccination sites. Volunteers can register on: rendez-vous.lacounty.gov/vaccinestaffing.
The most recent information on LA County immunization levels and schedule is available at: publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/vaccine/allocation