16,000 first responders in L.A. County are expected to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines by Sunday.
Vaccinations have already begun across L.A. County. Among the first groups to receive shots were staff working in acute care hospitals, residents and staff at Skilled Nursing Facilities, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics. L.A. firefighters have also begun to receive their first dose of the drug and will be trained to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to Angelenos in preparation for the vaccination sites to be set up in the coming months.
“Our first responders save lives every day, and this vaccine will keep them safe as they perform their essential duties and help us end this pandemic,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a Tweet.
This follows a devastating few weeks for hospitals as cases continue to surge, and the intensive care unit capacity throughout Southern California remains 0%. As capacity remains here, the state has extended the regional stay-at-home order indefinitely.
Here are COVID-19 vaccine distributions phases:
According to the LA County Public Health department, the COVID-19 vaccine will be free for everyone and offered to different groups in phases. While first responders in the county are expected to receive the drug by the end of this week, it’s not likely to be available to the general public until Spring/Summer 2021.
Various studies have shown both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be safe and very effective in preventing people from getting sick. Still, it’s uncertain whether it can prevent the spread of the virus and how long immunity will last. Thus, social distancing and face masks will continue to be the most impactful way of flattening the curve.
Featured Image: Mayor of L.A. via Twitter