LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — While the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in Los Angeles County has been lagging due to limited supplies, health officials said Monday that the county was exceeding the progress of other large jurisdictions.
“Although our doses are limited, we have immunized so many amongst the most vulnerable of our communities,” county Supervisor Hilda Solis said. “In fact, Los Angeles County has been able to vaccinate a higher percentage of our population than Cook County (Illinois) and Harris County (Texas), which are the second and third more populous counties in America, right after Los Angeles County.”READ MORE: At Least 15 People Killed After SUV, Big-Rig Collide In Imperial County
According to Solis, 7.9% of people in Los Angeles County had received as least the first dose of the vaccine as of late January.
As of last week, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said the county has received 991,375 doses and had administered 790,902.
“L.A. County has administered more doses to date than any other large county or large city in the United States, and we have the highest percent administration rate,” she said.
Though Ferrer acknowledged that the limited supply of vaccine doses had dramatically slowed the overall effort, especially with a number of the received doses now having to be reserved so people can get their second shots within the recommended timeframe.
“The biggest challenge remains not having enough vaccine for all of those eligible to be vaccinated,” she said. “We are hopeful that by March there is increased production and supply across the county, the state and L.A.”
The county on Monday reported 4,223 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 1,120,895 cases and 16,854 deaths.READ MORE: Publication Ceases For 6 Dr. Seuss Books Due To 'Hurtful, Wrong' Portrayals Of Minorities
Ferrer said the average daily number of new cases reported has dropped 67% since the beginning of January, but still remains roughly five times higher than daily case reports from last September — ahead of the winter surge. Ferrer also said that daily deaths had decreased by about 33% since the beginning of January, but said that was a small decline compared to the 1,400% surge in daily deaths from December into January.
“This is a tragedy that we’ve yet to turn around,” she said.
Health officials said there were 5,398 patients hospitalized, 27% of whom were being treated in intensive care units — a decrease in average daily hospitalizations of about 30% since the beginning of the month.
And while the numbers were continuing to trend in the right direction, health officials urged residents to continue to wear face coverings, wash their hands and keep their distance from those they do not live with — especially as more businesses reopen.
“It is not a time to relax,” Ferrer said. “It is … time to remain super-vigilant against this deadly virus and continue to stay home as much as possible.”
She also continued to urge people to watch the Super Bowl at home this coming weekend.
“This year, no one should create any additional risk that will come by hosting or attending a party with people outside their immediate household,” she said. “This Sunday, play it safe and enjoy the game at home with those who live in your household.”MORE NEWS: Disneyland’s COVID Vaccine Site To Temporarily Close To Install Drive-Thru Access
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