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Los Angeles County holds COVID-19 vaccine town hall

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Los Angeles County holds COVID-19 vaccine town hall

The Los Angeles County of Public Health held a virtual town hall on the COVID-19 vaccines as more Los Angeles residents continue to get vaccinated. The town hall was live streamed on Twitter and Youtube on Tuesday, April 27.

The event was moderated by Barbara Ferrer, the Director of the Los Angeles Department of Public Health. 

Ferrer opened up the town hall with Dr. Muntu Davis, an officer for the Los Angeles Department of Public Health. Davis talked about the recent decision to begin readministering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

Dr. Sharon Balter, Director of the Acute Communicable Disease Control Program explained that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reconvened last week after collecting more data on TTS and the vaccine. 

“As a result of this review they determined that the pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson can be lifted and that use of the vaccine should resume,” Balter said. “The FDA and CDC concluded that the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 and that the potential benefits outweigh its known potential risks in people who are 18 years of age and older.”

Dr. Seira Kurian from the Division of Medical Affairs of Los Angeles Department of Public health gave viewers information on where to find vaccination sites, what to do before and after the vaccine and addressed general concerns with the vaccines. 

“It is important to note that you can not get COVID from the vaccine itself since there is no COVID virus in the vaccine,” Kurian said. “It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination, and you’re considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”

Kurian stressed people who are vaccinated should continue to wear their masks, wash their hands and maintain social distancing in public or in crowded spaces.

After the brief introductions were made by the panelists, Ferrer opened up questions from the viewers. 

Davis assured a viewer that all vaccines are effective but taking the necessary precautions is important to prevent infections. 

“It has been seen in terms of the data and people getting COVID after vaccination is often between the first and the second dose or shortly after the second dose,” Davis said, “Which means they didn’t have the full protection and they were exposed to the virus, which took hold before the vaccine could protect them from infection.”

Currently, Los Angeles County residents are able to get a free vaccine without an appointment. The person getting the vaccine would need proof of residing in Los Angeles but no proof of residency. More information can be found here