Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed criticism on Thursday after receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
People called out Garcetti for “cutting the line” since, as a 49-year-old not working in healthcare, he does not meet the general eligibility requirements.
“Quite simply, it was strong medical advice from the people that were there, and what’s offered to everybody that’s working there,” he said Thursday.
Current county health orders specify that current doses should be reserved for those over 65, healthcare workers, staff, and residents at nursing homes and other long term care facilities.
“I think it’s really important when people do get that medical advice to say, ‘Yes,’ and to be [an] example, not to be an example because you’re an elected official but when that comes, we need people to know you should say, ‘Yes,’ and that you should feel good about this vaccine being safe, and I wanted to make sure that we did that as well,” he continued.
Garcetti received the vaccine on Jan. 21 at Dodger Stadium’s mass-vaccination clinic.
“Mayor Garcetti has spent many days, as he is today, at Dodger Stadium, assisting on the frontline of the vaccination effort, directly interacting with hundreds of Angelenos each day,” said Alex Comisar, a spokesman for the mayor. “The medical personnel strongly recommended that he receive the vaccine as they have recommended and provided for other field staff and volunteers at the site who have close contact with clients.”
People also criticized the mayor for getting the vaccine given the increasingly high number of coronavirus-related deaths and infections in Los Angeles, and the loosening stay-at-home orders.
“We are currently severely restrained by what has become a limited number of doses,” said LA County Chief Science Officer Dr. Paul Simon last week, as Deadline points out.
Given the limited number of doses, Dr. Simon warned that it could be “well into 2022” until the community reaches herd immunity.