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Vaccines and the Community-Flexing your defense against COVID-19

Vaccines and the Community-Flexing your defense against COVID-19
March 18
14:21 2021

Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

EMS – LA County briefing on Monday, March 15 discussed everything from where to go and how to get vaccinated to when the newest J&J vaccine will be available, how it will impact the supply of vaccines, how the county is targeting underserved and hardest hit communities, what challenges lie ahead.

Vaccines made by Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (J&J) are now available in Los Angeles County. The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone, regardless of their immigration status. It is being offered to different groups in phases.

LA County is aligning with the state’s reopening framework for the red tier effective Monday March 15. Mandatory masking, distancing and infection control practices for every business is the key to control the spread. Additional safety modifications required or recommended for certain sectors.

Supervisor Holly Mitchell, Los Angeles County’s Second District said they are aligning to open schools, indoor dining, movie theaters with restrictions. Vaccinating our teachers and school faculty is a critical step towards fully reopening our schools. The Los Angeles County Development Authority has launched an affordable and flexible business loan program to support and help stabilize businesses in the region. Small Business Stabilization Loans range from $50,000 to $3 million, and can be used for working capital, equipment purchases, inventory, or refinancing of existing loans at higher interest rates.

You can apply online at https://bizstabilization.lacda.org/. Under the PPE Unite program the County is offering a 30-day supply of free PPE while supplies last, said Supervisor Mitchell. She urged the LA county residents to follow all the guidelines and help in controlling the pandemic.

LA County Department of Public Health announced the region’s reopening of indoor dining as a part of the county’s move from the purple to red tier. Even though indoor dining can resume with 25 percent capacity, LA County health officer Dr. Muntu Davis offered caution to individuals who dine indoors, saying that there’s a higher risk to eating a meal in an enclosed space. He also warned that those with a higher risk for illness or death from coronavirus should avoid indoor dining rooms altogether. He added double masking, maintaining physical distance from others whom you don’t live with, has helped in protecting us. If eating at a restaurant, dining outdoors remains safer, he said.

Dr. Sarah Lopez, DHS Patient Safety Officer, Harbor UCLA Medical Center said without a vaccine it would take us roughly 59 months from now to get herd immunity so end of 2025. Through the amazing feat of science, we have a shortcut that is the vaccine. Dr Sarah said COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and no shortcuts were taken that could affect safety. There are 4 types of vaccines and these vaccines don’t have any live virus.

Jim Mangia, President and CEO of St. John’s Well Child & Family Center said St. John’s has been on the frontlines of the battle against COVID. You have to vaccinate the most vulnerable first and that’s how you’re going to really get to herd immunity,” Mangia said. We don’t see any vaccine hesitations and the network of clinics has led the way in providing testing, treatment to underserved communities and offering vaccines. “92% of the people we have vaccinated have been people of color,” Mangia said.

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