LA opens COVID vaccine appointments to residents 16 and older

Los Angeles has opened up COVID-19 vaccine appointments to all residents who are 16 and older.

Video Transcript

- Tonight, a milestone in the mission to protect Southern Californians from COVID-19. Everyone, 16 years and older, can now make an appointment to get vaccinated in the City of LA.

- Been waiting a long time to hear that. The registration website opened today, ahead of the state's official eligibility expansion. Eyewitness News reporter Leanne Suter live in East LA with those breaking details tonight. Leanne

LEANNE SUTER: Riverside and San Bernardino Counties have done it, so has the City of Long Beach, and now you can add LA to the list. Those 16 and older are now eligible to get a shot at any city-run site, like here at Cal State LA.

- Let the rush begin as LA City opens COVID-19 vaccines to anyone 16 and above ahead of the state mandate on April 15.

DANA KAWTHARANI: I was actually very happy, because I'm trying to travel in the summer and go to my home country. So it made me feel better about taking the vaccine and feel safer. So I was thinking like, yeah this is a good opportunity, and I'll take it.

ISAIAH KNOLL: We're trying to go within the next few weeks. And then I didn't even know about that, so we won't have to try and jump through hoops to even get it. So that's great.

- On the city site run by Carbon Health, you can get appointments as early as Tuesday. Currently, statewide rules allow people 50 and older and workers in certain job sectors, but come Thursday, millions more of Californians will be eligible to get the sought after shot.

DR. PAUL SIMON: There is that rush, over a period of a week or two, and there's just no getting around that. And so I think we will be urging the public to be patient, but that we are confident. We'll be able to serve everybody's needs over the coming weeks.

- As more and more people are getting vaccinated, the county's COVID-19 positivity rate has been falling, dropping 45%. Now at its lowest rate of 1.1% from its peak point in December of 20.9%. And even with a massive rush expected for the vaccine, beginning on the 15th, the county says it believes it will be able to meet the demand, as the federal government has been sending more supply.

- At the pace we're going, we will be able to get to where we want to be, by late June, as long as people continue to present for vaccination.

- And officials now say 4.7 million doses have been administered to people in LA County. And beginning today, even more are now eligible.