LOS ANGELES (CNS) — As Los Angeles County — which has deployed nearly 2.5 million vaccine doses to date — works to reach more residents, officials are considering longer hours at vaccine sites as a way to accommodate essential workers.
Supervisor Hilda Solis authored a motion calling for extended hours.
"We are at a critical point in the vaccine roll-out where it is imperative that we develop and implement systems to best assist vulnerable populations in gaining access to life-saving COVID vaccines," Solis said.
The county already has the capacity to deliver roughly 200,000 more doses a week than it has available through its allotment, according to Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
Even more Angelenos will become eligible next week, as the state includes individuals with serious underlying health conditions, so getting more vaccine is key to expediting the path to broader immunity. As supplies ramp up, however, Solis said the county may need to be flexible to reach everyone.
"We must ensure that all people in the county, regardless of race, creed, or immigration status, get vaccinated if we are to ever achieve a truly healthy county," Solis said. "This means providing COVID-19 vaccines at hours when essential workers and others can get to the clinics, be it early morning or overnight."
The board directed the departments of Public Health and Health services to coordinate with labor partners and assess the need for longer hours and the cost of operating sites overnight.
A report is expected back in 21 days.