40% of Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) firefighters have failed to turn up for voluntary vaccination against the coronavirus, following a pattern of reluctance seen among many front-line health care workers and first responders.
The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday:
Late last year, firefighters were the first city workers given access to the shots. After an initial burst of activity, the number showing up to get the vaccine has plummeted.
This past week, only 143 firefighters visited one of the department’s vaccination centers, according to data released by the city Friday night. So far, 1,944 of the agency’s just under 3,400 members have been inoculated, leaving 4 in 10 vulnerable to the highly infectious coronavirus.
The reluctance of L.A. firefighters adds to the list of healthcare workers in the state who are declining to take the vaccine, a trend that health experts say could have serious public health implications.
The Times added that L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti is considering making vaccination mandatory for firefighters and others on the front lines of the fight against an ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday that the state still has 2 million unused doses of vaccine, “with only 38% of the 3.1 million doses delivered to the state actually being given so far.”
West Virginia leads the nation in vaccine distribution, largely because it has a simplified system of scheduling vaccinations, the Chronicle added.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.