More than 15 million doses administered

Los Angeles County health officials marked a significant milestone this week, announcing that more than 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the county, but they said more needs to be done to reach people still resistant to the shots—especially as new variants emerge.

As of Dec. 9, more than 15.2 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the county, a number that rose dramatically in recent weeks thanks to the expanded availability of booster doses.

“The delivery of 15 million vaccines required a network of hundreds of providers willing to extend their services to serve residents across every community in the county,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “While we are proud of the work collectively done to administer 15 million vaccines in L.A. County, it is clear that we will need to continue to support vaccination efforts for months to come as we try to reach those still unvaccinated, those who need boosters, and those who are newly eligible.”

County health officials said there are still roughly 3.4 million people currently eligible for a booster shot who have not yet received one, and 2.2 million people aged 5 and over who have not yet received their first dose.

The news came as the state announced a 47-percent increase in COVID infections rates statewide in the weeks since Thanksgiving — prompting the implementation of a statewide indoor mask-wearing mandate, mirroring the one that has remained in place in Los Angeles County.

The upward trends affecting the state have been noticeable in L.A. County, with Ferrer last week saying the rising numbers are indicative of a post-Thanksgiving spike that could lead to a feared winter surge in infections.

Ferrer said that on Dec. 1, the county’s seven-day average daily number of new cases topped 1,000—a 19-percent increase from the previous week.

The county’s average daily rate of new infections rose to 13 per 100,000 residents in early December, up from 8 per 100,000 residents the previous week.

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