LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday that with the current pace of coronavirus vaccinations, the city of Los Angeles will not have all healthcare workers and seniors vaccinated until the summer.
Under the vaccination plan for the city, only those that fall under the Phase 1A and Phase 1B categories are currently allowed to receive vaccines. This includes healthcare workers, staff and residents at skilled nursing facilities and long-term care facilities, and L.A. County residents age 65 and older.READ MORE: Family Of Marine Corps Veteran Fatally Shot By CHP Officer Files $15M Claim Against State
Garcetti said if vaccinations continue at the current rate, the city would not be able to start vaccinating people in the next phase, such as education and childcare employees, food and agriculture employees, and incarcerated individuals, until June.
The city was originally planning to get to the next phase by February, according to its website.
“At this point, demand far outstrips supply for vaccines,” Garcetti said during a news briefing Thursday. “We are still waiting to learn when doses will arrive.”
Garcetti said he is hoping vaccine makers will ramp up production in the coming days under the new Biden Administration, and more companies will get emergency use authorizations to increase the supply.
The mayor is also pushing the federal government to send vaccines directly to cities and counties. He is hopeful that momentum with administering the coronavirus vaccines into arms will pick up.
“We know we will have more vaccines, so we won’t stay at this pace…there is a long road ahead,” added Garcetti. “No matter the pace, we will keep adding more people to the number that are now vaccinated.”READ MORE: San Bernardino Surpasses 3K Total COVID-19 Deaths, Ventura Nears 900
The delay in getting the vaccine out, coupled with the spike in cases, has lead to fear and frustration for those being admitted to local hospitals, especially expectant mothers and their partners.
“I’ve seen grown men cry,” said Aichi Ali, a labor and delivery nurse at Los Angeles Hospital. “It’s very disheartening.”
Ali said more moms are being separated from their partners during postpartum care because of COVID-19.
“They don’t get to have their partner with them during that time to help them or share these joyous memories with them,” Ali said.
Ali said pregnant women from all socioeconomic backgrounds are being impacted, and most of those new moms don’t know they have to be separated from their partners until after delivery.
The ongoing surge of cases at hospitals is driving demand at large-scale vaccination sites, like Dodger Stadium. However, L.A. health officials said Thursday the seven-day average of new cases dropped 30 percent between last week and this week.MORE NEWS: Woman Shot In Robbery Targeting Owner Of Beverly Hills Jewelry Store
Hospitalizations also dipped seven percent this week since last Thursday.