Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti discouraged ‘vaccine hunters’ from lining up at city-run vaccination sites, saying they have ” basically zero waste” of vaccines.
“If you’re vaccine hunting at one of our sites and you’re not qualified, you’re probably not going to get one,” Garcetti said. “There’s some places that have been less efficient… I hope this will be a non issue soon as we continue to expand vaccine access.”
L.A. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer shared the similar sentiments from a county level, saying one of the issues early on in the vaccination process, was that sites were drawing syringes before knowing if a patient would show up or not.
“We’ve gotten a lot better at vaccinating folks and there’s no waste anymore,” Ferrer said. “I would encourage people not to bother with that sort of vaccine hunting because you’re really unlikely to find a lot of places that have leftover doses.”
There are times that a site may have a handful of leftover syringes that sometimes go to volunteers at vaccination sites, but Ferrer said vaccines are no longer being wasted.
A “midnight clinic” is also used when the county has leftover doses, to which Ferrer explained that calls are made to eligible patients and if they can make it to a last minute, late-night vaccination appointment, they may do so.
Garcetti addressed rumors spreading through social media about Dodger Stadium closing early due to a shortage of people to vaccinate. Garcetti confirmed with an organizer from the stadium site that the rumor was not true.
“So much of this is, as we used to say in the Navy, ‘Rumor intelligence,’ which you chase down and learn nine out of 10 times isn’t true,” Garcetti said.
As far as rumors of loopholes being used for people to get vaccinated early, the mayor said, “Do you find people who cheat? Yes. Do you find people who bend the rules? Yes, but by and large… if we’re batting 98-99%, that’s pretty darn good.”