Facing a shortage of coronavirus vaccine doses, Los Angeles will temporarily close five of its inoculation sites, including one of the country’s largest, at Dodger Stadium, the mayor said on Wednesday.
By Thursday the city will have exhausted its supply of the Moderna vaccine for first-dose appointments, Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news conference. The centers will be closed on Friday and Saturday with plans to reopen by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, he said.
“We’re vaccinating people faster than new vials are arriving here in Los Angeles,” Mr. Garcetti said. “I’m concerned as your mayor that our vaccine supply is uneven, it’s unpredictable and too often inequitable.”
Mr. Garcetti said the city had received only 16,000 new doses of the vaccine this week, about the same number it gives out a single day.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported more than 3,400 new cases and 141 new deaths. Hospitalizations are down to about 3,700, the lowest number in months, Mr. Garcetti said.
Despite shortage concerns, the city will continue its mobile vaccination program, Mr. Garcetti said. “We can’t afford to see the outbreaks and, quite frankly, the unequal deaths that we’re seeing in communities of color,” he said.
Dodger Stadium opened as a vaccination site on Jan. 15, with many reporting long wait times and logistical issues. In the weeks leading up to its opening, Mr. Garcetti and other local and state officials had come under intense scrutiny for their handling of the virus and the vaccination rollout.
Similar problems have cropped up across the United States as demand far outpaces supply and vaccine providers struggle to predict how many doses will arrive.