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Good — And Bad — News As COVID-19 Vaccine Demand Drops In LA

A nighttime view from a drone shows the lights at Dodger Stadium, the vaccine site in the parking lot and the glittering L.A. skyline beyond.
In an aerial view from a drone, cars are lined up at the mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium. City officials have announced the site, which opened in January, will close up shop by the end of May.
(Mario Tama
Getty Images)
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There's some good news — and some bad news — about L.A. County's COVID-19 vaccination progress. On the one hand, more than 7.2 million COVID-19 shots have been given out to date, according to county public health director Barbara Ferrer.

"This means that about 32% of our residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated," Ferrer told us this week. "And while this is good progress, we have a long way to go before we can say we have a high enough level of community vaccination to go back to normal life without fear."

Chart shows rates of vaccination in L.A. County: 24% of teens 16 to 17 have first dose, 60% of seniors are fully vaccinated and 75% have at least one dose. 24% of adults 16-64 are fully vaccinated
(Courtesy L.A. County Public Health Dept.)

And while supplies of the vaccine are now much more stable than they've been in recent weeks, demand for shots has slowed down. That's even as access to the vaccine opened to anyone 16 and older.

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What does that mean for you?

Well, you no longer need an appointment to get the vaccine in L.A. County. Ferrer said many available slots are going unfilled, with sites countywide seeing a 50% drop in people showing up for their first dose.

She told us:

"We've seen a significant drop here in L.A. County of people getting vaccinated, and it's very worrisome — very worrisome. This would not be the time to sort of lose momentum on vaccinations."

Ferrer also says the county — for the first time ever — may not be able to administer most (95%) of the doses it has on hand within a week of getting them. She also pointed out lagging vaccination rates in multiple communities, including the Antelope Valley, along with South and East L.A.

And now officials have announced that the mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium will close by the end of May. They said the gradual closure was due to slowing demand for the vaccine and a transition to a smaller appointment-free system.

If you have an appointment at Dodger Stadium don’t worry, it will be honored but new appointments won’t be scheduled. The site initially opened as a testing site — one of the largest in the nation — and transitioned to vaccinations in January.