Next in Line: COVID Vaccines for Residents 65 and Older

Californians aged 65 years and older have moved up in the long line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday that they are now eligible for the scarce vaccine.
“There is no higher priority than efficiently and equitably distributing these vaccines as quickly as possible to those who face the gravest consequences,” he said in a statement. “To those not yet eligible for vaccines, your turn is coming. We are doing everything we can to bring more vaccines into the state.”
Though many health-care workers and long-term care residents — who remain as the highest priority — have yet to be vaccinated due to a slow rollout, state officials said giving individuals 65 years and older — about 6.6 million residents — eligibility could relieve hospitals flooded with coronavirus patients.
“With our hospitals crowded and ICUs full, we need to focus on vaccinating Californians who are at highest risk of becoming hospitalized to alleviate stress on our health-care facilities,” said Dr. Tomas Aragon, director of the state’s department of public health and state public health officer. “Prioritizing individuals age 65 years and older will reduce hospitalizations and save lives.”
In Los Angeles County, hospitalizations have somewhat stabilized and remained under 8,000, but officials remain concerned about the rate of infection and death. According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, COVID-19 kills someone every eight minutes and 10 people test positive every minute. From Jan. 5-12, there have been 1,606 coronavirus deaths.
On Dec. 1, Public Health reported a total 408,396 cases, a figure that has more than doubled in just six weeks. L.A. County is nearing the 1 million milestone with 958,497 as of Wednesday.
“The situation is more dire than ever before,” said Supervisor Hilda Solis. “Dying from COVID means dying alone. … Please don’t let this be your family.”
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer made an urgent plea to residents, telling them “now is the time to stay home as much as possible.”
There have been a total of 590 cases in La Cañada Flintridge as of Wednesday, an uptick of 67 from the previous week.
The county has received a total of 490,995 doses of vaccines and expanded distribution by opening more sites, including Dodger Stadium, in an effort to accelerate distribution. On Monday, Ferrer announced that health-care industry workers — such as those at urgent and primary care clinics, pharmacies and research laboratories — are now eligible for the vaccine.

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