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Vaccines Are Behind LA County's Decrease In COVID-19 Cases

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Los Angeles County health officials say progress on the vaccination effort is likely pushing down overall case numbers.

According to the latest data compiled from last week, nearly two million county residents have received one dose, and plans are now underway to significantly expand the number of doses administered each week.

As vaccinations continue to ramp up, however, officials also warn that the county's transmission rate, known as its "R" value, is slowly increasing. Dr. Christina Ghaly, who heads the county's Health and Human Services Department, says their estimates have been steadily creeping up for the past two-to-three weeks:

"Time will tell what this really means, and we don't have sufficient information yet to know if this will result in an uptick in infections, but we all need to remain vigilant."

It's not clear whether the rise in transmission rate is due to people's behavior, or because of the prevalence of more contagious strains of the virus, such as the two California variants ... though Dr. Ghaly says the timeline for the increase does
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not coincide with the decision to relax restrictions on some businesses.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE NUMBERS:

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