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LA County to vaccinate adults over 50 beginning April 1

Additional vaccine doses due to arrive soon

Lisa Olivia Fitch | 3/31/2021, 4:22 p.m.
Adults 50 and older will be eligible to schedule vaccinations beginning April 1...

Adults aged 50 – 64 have waited their turn and are eligible to schedule their vaccinations beginning Thursday, April 1. LA County is looking to receive more than 338,000 doses this week, according to Dr. Paul Simon, director of the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, who spoke during Friday’s virtual briefing.

“I believe is the highest number of doses we’ve received, so we’re happy about it,” Simon said, noting that nearly a million persons fall between that age range in the county. “But a number of them have already been vaccinated as essential workers and those who have medical issues; they’ve been in a number of prior eligibility groups.”

Simon added that not everyone will be able to get their vaccination appointments via the online service, Myturn.ca.gov, during the first week in April.

“There will undoubtedly be a rush on April first,” he said. “I expect over following several weeks, demand will ease up. If you’re not able to get an appointment immediately, wait a week or so and I believe things will be easier to navigate.”

Persons 16 years old and over will be eligible for vaccinations beginning April 15. Youth who are 16 can only receive one version, as Pfizer has been developed for this age group. Studies are underway to determine the best vaccine for those under 16.

“I’m optimistic at least and confident at the most that we will receive a significant increase of vaccine supply over the next month,” Simon said.

The director warned against the many scams that have cropped up recently, including those scam phone callers selling vaccination record cards and taking surveys about the vaccine that offer “free” rewards, but require persons to pay “shipping costs.” These are fraudulent, dishonest schemes.

Millions of residents in the county have been vaccinated with at least one dose of one of the three vaccines available to help protect them from getting COVID-19. Although none of the vaccines has been proven 100 percent effective, county data shows that the vaccine is working very well, according to the director, who said no vaccine is perfect, but only a very small number of vaccinated persons have contracted the virus.

“I urge everyone to hang in there,” Simon said. “We are so close, just weeks away from having everyone vaccinated.”