Los Angeles County residents who are 65-years-old and older can now register for COVID-19 vaccination appointments beginning Thursday thanks to an executive order signed by Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis.

Solis signed the executive order that mandated COVID-19 vaccines be available to members of the County’s most susceptible age group Monday before she joined Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer to discuss the matter Tuesday, which is also when the County opened five large capacity vaccination sites across the region.

“This is about equity,” Solis said as she discussed how older adults have been unfairly impacted by the virus and had to stay home for months isolated. “But the COVID-19 vaccine is here. Hope is here. Our residents will soon be able to return to a life where they can visit their grandchildren, go on walks with friends, volunteer at local soup kitchens, and even come to the L.A. County Fair.”

Solis added she has been contemplating making the vaccine available to residents aged 65 and older for a couple of weeks.

“And obviously with the governor’s pronouncement this past week,” Solis said, “I think that really got us all together to focus on how we could expedite this… and I’m glad that the Board of Supervisors and our county team — everyone — came together to make this happen.”

However, with the vaccine supply still extremely limited, some members of the public wondered if the County has enough vaccines to address the needs of seniors before health care workers are finished receiving vaccinations.

Solis and Ferrer urged residents to have patience while they touted their robust strategy.

“I think it’s always hard when you’re operating in scarcity, but I do appreciate the need for us to be mindful of moving forward as quickly as we can to get those at high risk and I think that’s what this strategy allowed us to do,” Ferrer said.

“We’re going to be watching history again with the new incoming administration,” Solis said shortly after. “And, as you and I know, there is an urgency to get 100 million people vaccinated, so I’m hoping now that we’ll have that coordination that was lacking in terms of the federal government’s involvement.”

Residents in this high-priority age group should visit VaccinateLACounty.com to schedule their appointments, which will begin Wednesday, January 20th. Residents who don’t have computer access may call (833) 540-0473 between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. for assistance with reservations. Vaccinations are free, and available to all, regardless of immigration status or insurance coverage.

City Manager Lane Dilg recently said the City is working closely with the County’s Department of Public Health and state leaders to bring a vaccination site to Santa Monica so it can efficiently facilitate vaccines to local community members, but the closest current vaccination site to Santa Monica in the County’s appointment system is the One Medical clinic located at 10000 W. Washington Blvd. in Culver City.

Locals are encouraged VaccinateLACounty.com for up-to-date information on LA County’s vaccine program.

Brennon@smdp.com