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Los Angeles officials skeptical statement on Newsom vaccination extension – Deadline

“Our only constraint is the supply of manufactured goods,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said Thursday. “With the hope that more supplies will be made available,” he continued, “this expectation has set up a framework in which we are announcing today that we are gradually modifying our eligibility for doses here in the state. “

Newsom revealed that these changes are as follows: All people 50 and over in California will become eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine from April 1; Anyone aged 16 and over will become eligible on April 15.

The governor’s plans, of course, depend on what he predicts will be a sharp increase in dose availability. While Newsom seems confident in this, Los Angeles health officials seem less confident.

California Expands Immunization Eligibility To All People Over 50 On April 1, Those Over 16 Are Eligible On April 15

“With the state’s announcement today, that means anyone aged 16 and over will be eligible for the vaccine in mid-April,” a carefully nuanced statement from the Department of Public Health of the United Kingdom said Thursday. LA County. “Expanding vaccine eligibility over the next two weeks will make it easier for more people to get vaccinated provided the county receives more doses. The emphasis is on these last words.

The last time the governor announced a major expansion in vaccine eligibility was on March 15, when he ordered appointments for the Covid-19 vaccine to be accessible to people aged 16 to 65. years old with an underlying health problem. This group includes 4.4 million Californians.

The timing of Newsom’s expansion was horrible. It coincided directly with what Marta Green – a state official overseeing the third-party vaccine administrator – called a “really tough” time.

“When we look at the concrete information that we have,” said Green, “this 3-week CDC screening, I hate to tell you this, it’s entirely flat. There is not one [additional] dose. Not one.”

So the governor dramatically expanded the pool of Californians eligible for vaccines just as the state was confident it had no additional supplies. State county health officials have expressed concern – not for the first time.

Sacramento County, Kaiser Permanente in Northern California and, three weeks ago, Sutter Health have, according to the Sacramento Bee, “ at various times during the vaccine rollout, expressed concern that their supply was either too low or had fallen significantly without warning or explanation from the state. . “

Additionally, while President Biden promised local health officials a three-week window on incoming vaccine supplies, Newsom still had not provided Los Angeles officials with projections for more than a week.

Why are three week projections important? Vaccination sites must be able to organize appointments for a certain number of appointments corresponding to the number of doses received. Ideally, this is a smooth process weeks in advance. When it doesn’t, you get examples like Dodger Stadium, which can deliver over 7,000 vaccinations a day, but was cut short last month because deliveries weren’t on schedule. As a result, the country’s largest vaccination site had to close its doors for two days.

“This week we only received 16,000 new doses,” said Mayor Garcetti at the time. “That’s about the number of new doses we give each day,” he said. “This is a drop of 90,000 from the previous week. This is unacceptable. “

This week has also been difficult. Due to the scarcity of vaccines and the scarcity of the certainty offered by the three week window, LA County administered alone second doses this week, the logic being that it is better to finish the vaccinations already started than to start those which it is uncertain to be able to finish.

Asked at the end of February about the lack of transparency, the governor said: “Next week the counties will start getting their three-week window, particularly on March 1.” That March date was when the state’s non-submission agreement with Blue Shield to assign vaccination doses and centralize appointments was supposed to come into effect. Part of the company’s mission was to create an algorithm that would analyze allowances across the state. The date came and went without Newsom’s promise being kept. He then said on March 15. It came and went too.

Now, local state health services have rebelled against the cession of authority to Blue Shield. It started with Santa Clara and then spread.

This week, Los Angeles officials said they had come to an agreement with the state – not Blue Shield – that they would work with Blue Shield, but not be subject to a deal with the third overlord.

So it’s understandable that today’s statement from LA officials is more carefully nuanced than Newsom’s sunnier statements. The county public health department has in fact repeatedly called for a limited supply.

“In these times of fear [sic] supply, our priority is to make sure that residents and workers in hard-hit communities can each get vaccinated, ”Los Angeles officials said before specifying their needs. “As eligibility expands, we will redouble our efforts to increase vaccine accessibility and availability in communities with the highest risk and the lowest vaccination rate.”

The statement continued “” Public health is happy to see eligibility for the Covid-19 vaccine expanded by the state … County hopes widening eligibility will be accompanied by increased doses of incoming vaccine in LA County. LA County vaccination sites continue to operate under capacity and have the capacity to vaccinate approximately twice as many residents each week than our current allocation allows. “

City News Service contributed to this report.

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