LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Although the rate of vaccination against COVID-19 is lagging in Los Angeles County due to limited supplies, health officials said Monday that the county is ahead of other large jurisdictions in progress.
Even though our doses are limited, we have vaccinated so many of the most vulnerable populations, said Hilda Solis, supervisor of the district. In fact, Los Angeles County has managed to vaccinate a higher percentage of its population than Cook County, Illinois and Harris County, Texas, the second and third most populous counties in America, right behind Los Angeles County.
According to Solis, by the end of January, 7.9 percent of Los Angeles County residents had received at least the first dose of the vaccine.
Last week, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, reported that the county has received 991,375 doses and taken 790,902 doses.
Los Angeles County has now administered more doses than any other large county or city in the United States, and we have the highest administration rate, she said.
Although Ferrer acknowledged that the limited supply of vaccine doses has significantly slowed the overall effort, especially since some doses must now be reserved so people can get their second vaccination within the recommended time frame.
The biggest challenge remains the lack of sufficient vaccine for everyone eligible for vaccination, she said. We hope to increase production and supply throughout the county, state and Los Angeles by March.
On Monday, the district reported 4,223 new confirmed cases of COPID-19 and 85 deaths, bringing the total to 1,120,895 cases and 16,854 deaths.
Ferrer said the average number of new daily cases has dropped by 67% since the beginning of January, but is still about five times higher than the daily cases reported in September last year – before the winter wave. Mr Ferrer also said the number of daily deaths had fallen by about 33% since the start of January, but that this was a small drop compared with the 1,400% increase in daily deaths from December to January.
This is a tragedy we haven’t seen unfold yet, she said.
According to health authorities, 5 398 patients were hospitalized, 27% of whom were treated in intensive care – a drop of about 30% in the average number of daily hospitalizations since the beginning of the month.
And while the numbers continue to climb in the right direction, health officials are urging residents to continue to wear face shields, wash their hands and keep them away from people they don’t live with – especially as more and more businesses reopen.
This is not the time to relax, Ferrer said. It’s time to be super vigilant against this deadly virus and stay home as much as possible.
She also continued to encourage people to watch the Super Bowl at home this weekend.
This year, no one should expose themselves to the added risk of hosting or attending a party with people from outside their immediate area, she said. Play safe this Sunday and enjoy the game at home with the people in your home.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. City News Service contributed to this report).
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