|(Jan. 17, 2021) -- LBREPORT.com acknowledges that seeking to vaccinate a mass population invites operational snafus. This is especially true at the outset.
But we won't mindlessly regurgitate City Hall releases (transcription, not journlism) without also reporting problems cited by members of the public. To do otherwise would be journalistically inaccurate and deter fixes.
LBREPORT.com has received mixed reports from readers about vaccine availability in Long Beach. Some say they received appointments through the City right away; others say they encountered useless voice mail and digital brush offs.
Some facts are indisputable. The City and private medical offices don't control the amount of vacccines available locally, The outgoing Trump administration and Sacramento officials (the former a Mayoral punching bag, the latter a Mayoral sacred cow) control how much vaccine local government and private vaccinators receive. When the CDC recently announced that individuals 65+ were eligible for vaccines, Sac'to and the City did likewise, creating increasing demand without any guarantee of increased supply.
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Of course this created a trainwreck, especially for those 65+. On Jan. 14, LB city management's Joint Informaton Center told us that as of Jan. 13, the City had City had approximately 12,105 vaccine doses on hand and 15,048 vaccines had been administered to that date. We don't what the number is today but we do know that 12,000 doses don't allow the kind of mass vaccinatons necessary now that City Hall officialdom has led the publc to believe it can deliver now (while officials vaccinated themselves)
We are 65+. We are also immune supressed, battling cancer (our doctors say we are currently "doimg well") but our age and underlying health issues put us at increased risks for very bad, including life-threatening COVID-19 outcomes. We want that vaccine. And yes, we're well aware we're not alone in these circumstances.
On Jan, 14, 2021, the same day the city offficials showed themselves getting vaccinated we used the digital link the City provided to make an appointment. We received the following emailed response on Jan. 14:
"You will be contacted if an appointment becomes available. Be safe!"
We also began receiving similar reports from readers and descriptions visible on social networks.
No dates provided...No specifics, in contrast to dates dispensed by Mayor Garcia at his mamagement-enabled (and LA media regurgitated) press event.
Within minutes of the Mayor's Jan..14 announcement, we used the City provided link. We filled in numerous blank fields, noting we're 70 yrs old and a LB resident, our health care provider doesn't have the vaccine yet and we want to get vaccinated as soon as possible. I received the following email reply:
Thank you for contacting us. Our first vaccine clinic for people 65 and over will begin on January 16 at the health department from 10 AM- 3PM. Please use this link to make your appointment: https://cw.calvax.org/clinic/private_registration/HD6gVd
On Jan,. 15, we asked LB's city management operated Joint Information Center how many doses of vaccine that City had on hand, Media relations staffer Chelsea Finegan responded:
"As of yesterday [Jan. 14], the City had approximately 12,105 vaccine doses on hand and 15,048 vaccines had been administered to date. ..." Ms. Finegan added: "As vaccines have become available, Long Beach has aggressively allocated or administered doses to those first in need. As you know, vaccinations for older adults begins tomorrow [jAN. 16]. Prior to making an appointment through the City vaccine clinics, people should first contact their healthcare provider for vaccine availability. Large medical providers have direct access to the vaccine. Individuals with additional questions may call 562.570.INFO (4636), option 6, or email COVID19Vaccine@longbeach.gov."
When we indicated we would be reporting our experience and that of others and invited any context city management wished to include, Ms. Finegan added: "We should note that new appointments are coming up every day and the City is currently working on launching a system that will be more user-friendly. A press release with more details on this will be issued by Monday [Jan. 18]..
On Jan. 17, the City sent the public the following social network message, titled "It's Your Turn" It speaks for itself and ikncludes the following text in red:
...The groups listed at the bottom of the page are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.No appointments are available at this time.
At this point, we have real doubts as to whether the City ever had vaccines available to vaccinate more than a relatively few people 65+. We will get that story as it reflects on the City's credibility.
Prior to publishing our story below, we asked city management's Joint Information Center to tell us how many vaccine doses the City had had on hand They provided a figure as of Jan 13 which we report below along with management's context for the current sitution.
We also plan to follow up.
For Mayor Garcia the Jan. 14 city management enabled media event was a complete success. He was not only vaccinated but various media outlets credulously regurgitated what he and City Hall press releases said+...despite the fact social networks were already filling with reports of unresponsive emailed responses and a telepone "hotline" inviting callers to leave messages at the tone,
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