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L.A. County residents who are 65 and older now qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine, as Supervisor Hilda Solis signed an executive order to include them in the current phase, Monday.

These seniors join L.A. County healthcare workers in the first phase of vaccinations, and can sign up and get their first dose as soon as Thursday, January 21.

“If we are to ever get out of this dark winter, it is critical that we make headway vaccinating people 65 years of age and older as soon as possible – in line with Governor Gavin Newsom’s recommendations,” L.A. County Supervisor Chair, Hilda Solis, said. “That is why I signed an Executive Order today directing the County’s Department of Public Health to make COVID-19 vaccination appointments available to residents 65 years of age and older, beginning on January 21, 2021 – this is to allow for public health officials to adequately prepare for the rollout of the vaccine to this population.”

In an attempt to “increase the pace” of vaccinations in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that the state would move ahead the prioritization of senior citizens age 65 and up, but L.A. County was not immediately on board with the state’s decision and said their priority was getting the vaccine to as many healthcare workers as they could before moving forward. Public Health’s prioritization was forced to change with Solis’ order, however, as the county attempts to administer its 685,000 available doses.

Even with the recent opening of a “super site” at Dodger Stadium, where up to 12,000 vaccinations can be administered per day, the County has only distributed roughly 350,000 of the 685,000 doses, with a county-set goal of 500,000 by the end of January.

L.A. County’s “Phase 1B” for vaccinations is still expected to begin in early February and will include residents who are at risk of COVID-19 exposure in education and childcare, emergency services and food and agriculture.

As of January 19, L.A. County has recorded 1,031,874 COVID-19 cases, 14,122 deaths and is currently experiencing 7,322 hospitalizations.

LA Weekly