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LA County Not Ready To Vaccinate All Unregistered Family Members

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A pharmacist from UCI Health preps a COVID-19 vaccine for injection. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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When Gov. Gavin Newsom announced expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations over the next three weeks, he said health care providers in lower-income areas can offer a vaccine to family members of someone with an appointment -- an attempt to accelerate the inoculation of communities disproportionately ravaged by the virus.

But L.A. County says at first it’s only going to send extra doses for family members to a couple of its smaller vaccination sites. Why the delay?

“We're a little worried about trying to do this at a large [vaccination site],” said county Chief Science Officer Paul Simon.

“If you have a car with one person who has an appointment but then multiple other people in the car that haven't registered, it takes some time to register folks,” he said. “So we're worried about just immediately rolling that out everywhere.”

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Newsom said all Californians 50 and older will be eligible to be vaccinated on April 1, while everyone 16 and older will qualify two weeks later.

L.A. County has been receiving about 250,000-280,000 doses a week over the past month, and it’s expecting nearly 340,000 doses next week, Simon said.

Even with this expansion in eligibility and supply, health officials warn it will take months to vaccinate every Californian who wants to be immunized.

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