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Vaccinations Begin For LA County's First Responders

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File: A pharmacist at UCI Health Center preps a COVID-19 vaccine. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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All 16,000 Los Angeles County firefighters and paramedics should receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines by Sunday.

That includes first responders who work for the cities of Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach, which operate their own independent fire departments, as well as emergency medical technicians with private ambulance services. City of Los Angeles firefighters have also begun receiving the vaccine.

Dr. Marianne Gausche Hill, medical director of the county's Emergency Medical Services Agency, says the effort to fast-track those vaccinations comes as local hospitals continue to be inundated with COVID-19 patients. The state reported earlier that intensive care unit capacity throughout Southern California remains at 0%, and the stay-at-home order for the region has been extended indefinitely.

"We will continue to work together as a team, with our fire department colleagues to help our law enforcement colleagues as well as others."

L.A. County is one of the largest emergency medical service areas in the country — 1 in 25 paramedics in the United States practice here.
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