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Garcetti Promises To Ramp Up LA's Vaccine Efforts

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at a Los Angeles County Health Department press conference on the novel coronavirus on March 4, 2020 in Los Angeles. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
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As President Biden announced today that the government now expects to have enough vaccine for all adult Americans by the end of May, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he's bullish on the city’s capacity to handle what he says will be an “onslaught” of vaccine doses coming to Southern California in the next few months.

In an interview with KPCC’s AirTalk, Mayor Garcetti said that while we’re still stuck in the phase of the rollout where there aren’t enough vaccines to meet demand, it won’t be long before we have a different problem: too many vaccine doses to distribute.

Garcetti says with 520 million doses expected to come in from Pfizer and Moderna before the end of July, plus an additional 100 million of the newly-approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine, mass vaccination sites are going to have to ramp up productivity to meet demand:

“It’s gonna be a huge onslaught and we’re building that up so that places like Dodger Stadium, which today are really only at half capacity – it’s the largest vaccine site in the world, we believe, but it could probably double its daily [output] … that will, I think in the next couple of weeks, really make it easier ... to get a vaccination.”

Garcetti says he’s well aware of the ongoing issues with equity of vaccine distribution and that he’s taken steps to address it. In addition to the MOVE vans, which fan out to underserved communities in the city to help distribute vaccines, he says the city is also doing person-to-person outreach by texting people in those communities when new appointments are available and even going door-to-door in some neighborhoods like Boyle Heights.
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He says once people in those communities are aware of how they can be vaccinated, he plans to work on ways to help actually get them to a vaccination site, or to bring the vaccine to those areas most in need, by doing things like working with Metro to provide transportation or possibly even partnering with a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft.

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH MAYOR GARCETTI HERE:

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