People 65 and Over Are Now Eligible to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine

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Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The City of West Hollywood is getting the word out that Los Angeles County residents who are 65 years old and older eligible to register for the COVID-19 vaccine. Residents in this age group should visit www.VaccinateLACounty.com to schedule appointments, which began on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. Residents who do not have computer access may call (833) 540-0473 between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. for assistance.

The vaccine supply is still extremely limited, and Los Angeles County continues to urge patience as it works urgently with federal and state partners to expand capacity and supply in the weeks ahead. The vaccine will be offered to different groups of people at different times. When enough vaccine is ready, it will be offered to the general population.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to be safe and very effective in large studies that involved a diverse mix of people. These vaccines prevented 95 percent of cases of COVID-19 disease. Children will not be offered vaccine in the near future. The Pfizer vaccine has only been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for people age 16 and over and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is only authorized for people age 18 and over.

While the vaccine stops people from getting sick, it is not yet clear if it stops people from spreading COVID-19 to other people. It is also not yet known how long people will be immune. So, everyone must still wear a face covering, maintain physical distance, and avoid gathering outside of households.

To ensure that people at higher risk of transmission and illness are vaccinated first, Los Angeles County has established a phased system:

Phase 1A — Los Angeles County is currently in Phase 1A and the following groups are now being offered the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Frontline Healthcare Workers
  • Staff & Residents at Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Staff & Residents at Long-Term Care Facilities

Phase 1B, Tier 1 — Los Angeles County is also actively vaccinating in Phase 1B, Tier 1, which means:

  • All people age 65 and over are now eligible for vaccination.

Phase 1B, Tier 2 — The estimated timeline for the next phase, Phase 1B, Tier 2 is February 2021, which will include:

  • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: transportation and logistics; industrial, commercial, residential, and sheltering facilities and services; and critical manufacturing.
  • Those in congregate settings with outbreak risk including people who are incarcerated and people who are experiencing homelessness.

Phase 1C — Vaccines are not yet available to persons listed in Phase 1C, which is estimated to be in March 2021. Prioritization in this phase will include people 50 to 64 years of age and people 16 to 49 years of age who have an underlying health condition or disability, which increases their risk of severe COVID-19, as well as those at risk of exposure at work in certain sectors.

For details about phases, visit the LA County Public Health website at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/covidvaccinedistribution.

To provide the ability to accommodate large capacities of people, Los Angeles County has opened five large-capacity vaccination sites, chosen for their regional accessibility: Pomona Fairplex; The Forum; California State University, Northridge; L.A. County Office of Education in Downey; and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Each site will be able to vaccinate approximately 4,000 people per day at each site. In addition, more than 75 pharmacies have registered to provide vaccinations, and Los Angeles County will continue to add more.

Vaccinations are free, and available to all who are eligible as determined by phase, regardless of immigration status or insurance coverage. For those who have insurance, coverage information may be requested as part of the appointment scheduling process.

For up-to-date information about Los Angeles County’s vaccine program, visit www.VaccinateLACounty.com. Los Angeles County residents may also call toll-free (833) 540-0473 between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. seven days a week.
For answers to Frequently Asked Questions from LA County Public Health, visit:

www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/docs/about/FAQ-Vaccine.pdf.

www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus

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