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Morning Brief: Five Million Angelenos Eligible For Vaccine, Newsom Claps Back, And A Night Hike

A sign outside Grand Central Market, as businesses slowly start to reopen. March 15, 2021. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s March 16.

Beginning yesterday, a new tier of Angelenos became eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.

Now qualified are people between the ages of 16 and 64 who have a disability and/or certain high-risk health conditions; public transit workers; and people who live or work in so-called “congregate living spaces,” such as homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and prisons or jails.

According to county estimates, more than five million L.A. residents and employees are now eligible. That’s a lot to manage, and my colleagues Jackie Fortiér and Carla Javier broke down the details.

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To begin with, anyone with a vaccine appointment will need to bring a photo ID (it does not need to be government issued), and proof of living or working in the county. For folks who qualify because of a health condition, the honor system is being used; you won't have to provide proof of your condition, although you will be asked to sign a document attesting to your status.

For folks who qualify because of where they work, proof isn't necessarily needed either, but it’s a good idea to bring a work badge if you have one, or a letter from an employer.

There won't be enough doses for everyone who is eligible right away. Supply has been low since the vaccine was first introduced, and while it’s getting better, it’s still not enough to meet demand.

But Angelenos seem to be largely on board with getting vaccinated. At least 1.8 million residents had received one shot as of March 12, and nearly 900,000 were fully vaccinated.

Case numbers continue to go down as well, and L.A. County is now in the red tier. That means businesses and restaurants can slowly begin to reopen, albeit at limited capacity and with safety protocols still in place. Plus, the L.A. Unified School District reached an agreement last week with the teachers’ union to reopen for in-person classes.

I don’t want to say that things are heading back to normal; there is no going back to how things were, and none of us can forget what we learned while living through a global pandemic. But for now, I’ll say this: for the first time in a while, hope appears to be on the horizon.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

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What Else You Need To Know Today

  • L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino will run for mayor in 2022.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom has largely ignored the attempt to oust him from office, but this morning he fired off some tweets.
  • As part of a series of conversations that Cal State Northridge students had with loved ones about COVID-19 vaccinations, one young woman wants to see her brother, a cancer survivor, get the vaccine.
  • L.A. District Attorney George Gascón is pushing to review cases of prisoners who had years added on to their sentences. Reginald Wheeler hopes to be among them.
  • The Academy Award nominees are more diverse than they’ve been in years past.
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Before You Go … This Week’s Outdoor Pick: St. Patrick’s Night Hike

Take a night hike on St. Patrick's Day in Griffith Park. (fredcamino, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Looking to get outside this week? Look no further than Griffith Park, where the group Hiking With Friends is hosting a nighttime jaunt on St. Patrick’s Day.

Or, if you’re feeling more of a stay-warm-inside type of vibe, you have other options: Spend time with Michelle Obama and her pals, Waffles and Mochi. Catch the long-awaited "Snyder Cut" of Justice League. Score a bunch of St. Patrick's dining and drink deals. Soak in SXSW without traveling to Austin. And more.

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