Confusion surfaces at L.A. vaccination site as more essential workers become eligible for COVID-19 shot

Local news

On Monday, more essential workers, including education and food workers, became eligible to receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but some people awaiting a second dose were met with confusion because a vaccination site at Dodger Stadium was closed.

Ljubica Ikovic was one of dozens of people with appointments, many of them over the age of 65, who drove to the super vaccination site at the stadium’s parking lot early Monday. She told KTLA she received her first COVID-19 shot on Jan. 28, and the vaccine card she received that day told her to return for her second inoculation on March 1.

“Nobody called me to tell me this is closed, this is unfair that it is closed. It’s unbelievable what they are doing,” Ikovic said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office confirmed Monday that the Dodger Stadium site was closed but said no one was scheduled for appointments.

The mix-up came on the same day that L.A. County opened up vaccine eligibility for teachers, education and child care employees (excluding personal nannies), grocery workers, restaurant staff, agriculture workers, emergency services and law enforcement personnel. The eligibility list also currently includes those 65 and older, health care workers and staff and residents at long-term care and skilled nursing facilities.

How soon the new essential workers added to the eligibility list will be vaccinated remains to be seen, as the supply for shots remains limited countywide. However, L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis said 30% of the vaccine allocation will be set aside for teachers.

“This is a critical step in giving our educators, students and their families the peace of mind that they and their loved ones will be protected in the classroom,” Solis said.

While millions of residents await their turn to get a COVID-19 vaccine, on Monday Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer pleaded with the community to refrain from making an appointment if they are not eligible.

“People that are coming to get vaccinated are going to be asked to verify that they are in an eligible group,” Ferrer said, noting that some people have been able to make an appointment despite being ineligible. “Anyone that’s not able to do this will be asked to wait.”

Those who have secured a COVID-19 vaccination appointment will be asked to show a photo ID or paystub, badge or other proof that shows they live or work in L.A. County to prove eligibility.

Ferrer said the county’s five mass vaccination sites will have scheduled sector-specific days for vaccinations as follows:

  • Tuesday and Thursday appointments for food and agriculture workers
  • Wednesday appointments for emergency services workers
  • Friday appointments for all eligible groups
  • Saturday appointments for early child care and education workers and people who work at independent stores

As of Feb. 25, nearly 2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered countywide, including 600,947 second doses.

At Monday’s new conference, health officials said the county has made progress in reducing the transmission of COVID-19 with daily case numbers now at the levels that were seen before the devastating winter surge. Officials reported 987 new COVID-19 cases and 32 additional deaths, but said numbers at the start of the week are represent an undercount because of a lag in weekend reporting from labs.

There are currently 1,578 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 31% of the patients being treated in an intensive care unit.

“We are moving in the right direction,” Ferrer said. “A direction that will lead towards moving forward on our recovery journey for more of our young people to go back to school.”

Those who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine can register at vaccinatelacounty.com or myturn.ca.gov.

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