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COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts Ramp Up in LA County As Officials Prepare To Widely Expand Eligibility

INGLEWOOD (CBSLA) -- Millions more Californians are preparing to become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine this week.

Los Angeles County will receive 340,000 doses of the vaccine, including about 14,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Officials said that 57% of the appointments this week will go to people seeking their first doses, which is a step forward for the county as short supply has forced the county to prioritize second-dose appointments over the past few weeks.

RELATED: Another Week Of Limited Doses For LA County As COVID Vaccine Supply Struggles Continue

The county will also reserve more than half of those doses for underserved communities, as officials continue their effort to vaccinate the most vulnerable populations in Los Angeles first.

As the state continues to expand vaccine eligibility, L.A. County will also be making adjustments to its health order.

This week, gardeners, landscapers, private nannies and caretakers, as well as flight attendants will be able to get the vaccine.

In line with the state's mandate, starting on April 1, anyone 50 or older can receive the vaccine. And on April 15, eligibility will open to anyone 16 or older in the county. However, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for use on anyone under the age of 18.

"It's exciting news for both my daughter, my son-in-law, and my wife," L.A. County resident Carlos Hurtado said. "Now I get a chance to fly back to Indiana and go see them."

RELATED: All Those Age 16 And Older Eligible To Receive COVID Vaccine In Calif. Beginning April 15

Los Angeles County's chief science officer, Dr. Paul Simon, said that the area is heading into a "critical" period where expanding vaccine eligibility will lead to a significant reduction in the spread of the coronavirus.

He added that seeing that reduction in the spread will be a key factor in "moving quickly through reopening."

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