LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Several Orange County mayors met on Monday — concerned about the slow rollout of the coronavirus vaccine across Southern California — to discuss how to get the vaccine out to the public more efficiently.
A vaccine supersite is expected to open soon at the Orange County Fairgrounds near the spot where thousands line up for COVID-19 testing.
“I’m very concerned. We’re one of the few cities in South Orange County and we are stepping up. We’re trying to bring a superpod site somewhere in our city. I have been working diligently on it for the past couple of weeks. We have had walkthrus, our pod-specific plans have been approved. We are simply waiting on the county,” said Aliso Viejo mayor TIffany Ankley.
The lack of staff is a key issue, officials say, standing in the way of getting more people vaccinated.
Orange County’s 34 mayors have been asking for help from the National Guard.
“We don’t have the capacity here in Orange County to be able to staff all of the sites in order to get as many shots in people’s arms as possible,” said Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley. “And that’s in large part because our hospitals are over capacity. All of our healthcare are at capacity. We don’t have any extra. So that’s wonderful news, we’re grateful for that.”
Foley says FEMA money owed to cities, which is needed to hire people to administer shots, has stalled.
“We did some studies early on, the county did a survey and there was a lot of vaccine hesitancy. Well, fast forward to now and everyone wants to get vaccinated, so we don’t have enough doses of vaccines, so we need the federal government and the state government to get us some more doses so we can get our community vaccinated so we can get back to living our best lives,” Foley said.
Vaccines would need to come from the federal government. Meanwhile, Orange County’s mayors are putting in a request to the governor asking that nursing students be allowed to administer vaccines.