LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, and Supervisor to the First District, released the following statement after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine:

“This is a momentous day for our country. With the help of incredible scientists and researchers, many of whom are immigrants, the first COVID-19 vaccine in the United States has been approved with emergency use authorization. This vaccine, and the ones that will soon follow, give me great hope for the future. The pictures we saw of British citizens receiving the vaccine provided such optimism and soon those pictures will be of Americans.

Transparency and equity will guide Los Angeles County in its administration of the vaccine.  And we recognize that there remain many questions about the vaccine.  The vaccine, as determined by multiple independent review organizations and experts across the world, is safe. But the timeline until mass vaccinations remains unclear. Our frontline healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities will be prioritized as the current supply is limited while the needs are incredibly high. Therefore, we must protect those at highest risk first.

The reality is that widespread access to the vaccine may be months away. It will not save us from the current and incoming surges. Yesterday, almost 3,000 Americans died of COVID-19 and the day prior there were over 3,000 Americans who died of COVID-19.  In Los Angeles County alone, we hit the grim record of more than 8,000 total deaths.  These tragedies are not over.  Hospital capacity remains dangerously low, including in Southern California.

The goal for everyone right now is to continue keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe until widespread access becomes available. Once again, we must hunker down – but the difference now is that we see an endpoint. The pandemic will not last forever—the offramp is in plain view. If we make sacrifices now, we will soon be able to see our loved ones in person, attend schools, visit restaurants and eateries, and re-enter our new society.

Indeed, we must first get through the darkness together, but there is a very bright light at the end of the tunnel.”

CONTACT: Kimberly Ortega, Acting Communications Director, (213) 361-6435 or KOrtega@bos.lacounty.gov