Coronavirus vaccination appointments at sites run by the city of Los Angeles are being canceled for Saturday, marking the second postponement in as many days as weather-related delivery delays continue to hamper the region’s supply of doses.
Mayor Eric Garcetti’s announcement Friday did not indicate how many inoculation appointments would be impacted, but affected patients will be automatically scheduled to receive their shot on a new date and time. Notifications will come via text, email or by phone once more doses arrive, he said.
The city-run sites include Dodger Stadium, Hansen Dam, San Fernando Park, Lincoln Park, Pierce College and the Crenshaw Christian Center.
On Friday, some 12,500 appointments scheduled in the city had to be rescheduled as thousands of COVID-19 vaccines bound for Los Angeles became stuck in transit due to a cold snap wreaking havoc in much of the country.
“Severe weather across the country has disrupted travel and shipping nationwide, including delaying the delivery of our vaccines,” Garcetti said in a news release on Thursday. “Our City is ready to administer COVID-19 vaccines swiftly, safely, and equitably — and as soon as doses arrive in Los Angeles, we will get them into people’s arms immediately.”
The mayor stressed that people receiving their second dose will still be able to get it within the 42-day window recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And those who had their appointments delayed will be prioritized once the vaccine supply is restocked.
Nationwide, the harsh weather conditions has lead to a three-day delay in vaccine deliveries, accounting for about 6 million doses as of Friday, according to White House coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt.
Approximately 63,000 doses headed to Los Angeles are being are being held up as a result of grounded flights and icy roads, Garcetti said. That includes 26,000 vaccines in Kentucky that were previously scheduled to arrive Tuesday, and another 37,000 stuck in Tennessee that were intended for appointments next week.
L.A. County officials have not yet indicated whether the shipping disruption will cause any delays at their separately-operated vaccination sites.
The city’s mobile vaccine clinics, which are meant to target communities hit hardest by the pandemic, won’t be impacted and will continue to operate, Garcetti said.
The late-week cancelations appeared to cause mass confusion, however, as hundreds of people still showed up Friday morning to Dodger Stadium — one of the largest coronavirus vaccination sites in the country — to get their shot.
Some said they were never notified about their appointment while being changed, while others told KTLA that they couldn’t verify the message they received was actually from the city.
Other areas in California have seen similar vaccine postponements in the state, including Orange, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Fresno counties.
But in L.A., vaccine shortages have existed apart from the weather-related issues. That forced city sites to shut down late last week and prompted officials to prioritize second doses for this week.