Los Angeles expands vaccine eligibility to 16 and up

California

File – In this Saturday, April 10, 2021, file photo motorists sit inside their vehicles as they wait their turn to be inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at Dodger Stadium parking lot in Los Angeles. The city of Los Angeles has opened up vaccines to younger people, days ahead of the state broadening eligibility to everyone 16 and up. The expansion of vaccine eligibility in LA follows similar moves by other cities and counties across the state. State health officials warned last week of decreases in supply because of a national reduction of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The city of Los Angeles has opened up vaccines to younger people, days ahead of the state broadening eligibility to everyone 16 and up.

An option to book vaccine appointments for Los Angeles residents 16 and older at city-run inoculation sites appeared on the registration website starting Saturday, the LA Times reported.

“We are excited to open vaccination appointments for Angelenos 16 and older,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “We continue to receive a limited supply of vaccines, and when we receive greater supply in the weeks ahead, the city will be ready to administer even more vaccines quickly and safely.”

The expansion of vaccine eligibility in Los Angeles follows similar moves by the Southern California counties of Riverside and San Bernardino, Santa Clara County in the San Francisco Bay Area and Fresno County in the central valley.

People age 16 and up can get the Pfizer vaccine while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are for people 18 and older.

However, California public health officials warned Thursday of decreases in supply because of a national reduction of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine in coming weeks.

The state received about 2.4 million doses last week, but it expects 2 million this week and 1.9 million doses next week. This is in addition to vaccine shipped directly to pharmacies and community health centers from the federal government.

Currently, the statewide criteria say that only people 50 and older, those with underlying health conditions, and workers in certain specified essential job sectors are eligible for the vaccine.

Californians 16 and older can make appointments starting April 15.

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