Californians Age 50 And Older Eligible For COVID Vaccine

In Los Angeles County alone, the new eligibility requirements will mean about 1.4 million more people will qualify. Nearly four million more people in L.A. County ages 16 and up will eligible to receive the vaccine starting April 15.

Video Transcript

- Starting today, millions of Californians 50 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. And one local city already opened it up to anyone over 16. But as KCAL9's Jasmine Viel shows us, finding an appointment isn't always easy.

- My name's Christy. I'm going to be giving you your COVID-19 vaccination.

JASMINE VIEL: Paramedics and nurses inside this Pasadena City College parking structure administered second doses only of the Moderna vaccine Thursday, even though today was the day the state allowed all Californians over 50 to get vaccinated.

Lauren [? Breier, ?] who works at Cal Tech and was here for her second dose, says she's been trying to book an appointment for her mom in LA County, who falls into that new eligible group.

Has she been able to find one yet?

- Not yet. It's been hard. It was hard for me, too.

JASMINE VIEL: Pasadena, which has its own health department, started signing up people 50 and older last week. But this week, there's not enough vaccine to meet the demand.

KELLEE O'ROURKE: We have had the capacity but have been unable to operate at our full capacity, unfortunately, due to the limited supply of vaccine.

JASMINE VIEL: It's the same situation throughout LA County.

BARBARA FERRER: While we're excited to expand eligibility, as I noted earlier, we received less than 400,000 doses for this week, which means that there are only a limited number of appointments that are available.

JASMINE VIEL: Limited supply remains the biggest obstacle, but LA County is working on expanding that capacity to be able to administer a million doses a week by the end of this month.

Registered nurse Melissa Medina shows us where they store the coveted vaccine for the day.

- We have Big Mama, which is our nice cooler which maintains our vaccine within range.

JASMINE VIEL: The city is also already asking those 16 years and older to sign up online to be ready for an appointment, even before the state's April 15 date for that age group.

And the White House is now reassuring the public after Johnson and Johnson delayed shipments of its vaccine from a manufacturing plant in Baltimore where a mistake spoiled about 15 million doses.

JEN PSAKI: It wasn't going to impact our supply. It wasn't going to impact the supply to the American people.

JASMINE VIEL: LA County health officials say they are confident supply and demand will even out by midsummer.

In Pasadena, Jasmine Viel, KCAL9 News.