COVID vaccines are a few weeks away. What is LA County’s distribution plan?

Vials with stickers reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of an AstraZeneca logo. Photo by REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

During an LA County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Sheila Kuehl opposed a last-minute effort by two other supervisors to let restaurants continue operating outdoors.

“This is a serious health emergency and we must take it very seriously. As I indicated, this is the only business that allows its customers to remain, and often for quite a while, unmasked. And that I think is enough to single it out right there. We’ve tried, but the numbers have gone up,” Kuehl said.

That effort to rebuff the county health department’s recommendations failed, so restaurants will have to switch back to takeout only starting at 10 p.m. tonight.

Supervisors did not decide on whether to impose another safer-at-home order. The daily case rates have reached their 4500 average threshold.

Meanwhile, a vaccine is almost here. Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca are likely a couple of weeks away from receiving FDA approval.

Governor Gavin Newsom says the first vaccines could be administered before Christmas. But how? The logistical issues are enormous.

“The [LA] County Department of Public Health, it's kind of like they're planning a Thanksgiving dinner, but they have no idea how many people are coming, they have no idea how many turkeys they're going to get. So they're just scrambling around trying to buy ovens in hopes that they have enough,” says LA Times reporter Jaclyn Cosgrove.

Cosgrove says the biggest concern is that vaccines won't get administered as quickly as possible because of poor coordination. And she says that's reasonable, after the rollout of COVID testing earlier this year.

“We don't want to see another situation with testing where you had a city councilor who was like, 'I'm going to get these tests for my area.’ Then you had a county supervisor who was like, 'I'm going to get a testing site over here.' And you didn't have this thoughtful coordination that you really needed,” she says.

Credits

Guest:
Jaclyn Cosgrove - LA County government reporter at the Los Angeles Times

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Caleigh Wells, Angie Perrin