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Appointments for the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine have decreased by about 50% in Los Angeles County, alarming public health officials who call it a worrisome trend that reflects the slowdown in vaccination rates across the state and country.

“I do know that across the county this past week we saw much fewer people coming in to get vaccinated. For the first time ever, we’ve had appointments at many vaccination sites that have not been filled,” said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer during a news briefing Thursday,

It is likely to mean that for the first time, the county will not administer 95% of its supply over a seven-day period, she said.

The drop in demand has prompted the county to allow for more walk-ins at vaccination sites, rather than requiring appointments. That flexibility will be allowed through next week, and is likely to extend.

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