On Tuesday, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said thousands of LAPD employees are reluctant to be inoculated with a coronavirus vaccine.
The Los Angeles Times reports Moore’s comments were based on “an informal survey” that found “just 60% of respondents saying they would accept the shots when offered.” The outlet also described the finding as the result of an “unscientific internal poll” and did not provide reasons for the skepticism.
Still, the article said there were 9,500 respondents, adding that there are approximately 13,000 officers and civilian employees in the department. Moore revealed that 20% said they need more information before committing to getting a shot, and another 20% said they would refuse the injection outright.
“This vaccination is not just safe, but it’s effective,” Moore has concluded. “It’s the way out of this pandemic, and we are asking all of our members on a voluntary basis to step into this and be vaccinated.”
Moore reportedly said he would take the vaccine when it is his turn, but not before the “rank-and-file who are out in the street every day.”
“Believe me,” Moore said. “I would do it in a moment.”
Only 60% of LAPD officers, employees willing to take COVID vaccine, internal survey shows https://t.co/nN5717eoUH
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) January 5, 2021
The Times provides more details from Tuesday’s news conference:
Hundreds of LAPD employees have fallen ill, and several have died. Many are currently in isolation as the virus ravages the L.A. region. Three LAPD employees are hospitalized, one of them in grave condition, Moore said. …
Moore said he was in touch with fire officials on Tuesday who offered to start vaccinating LAPD officers with whatever doses they had leftover from firefighters declining to take them. He said he was not told how many shots that might be but did not expect the doses to cover many officers. …
Police officers, who are in the second tier of frontline workers and first responders who are eligible for vaccines under county protocols, will be prioritized within the department as well, Moore said, with officers and investigators who work in the street vaccinated first.
While Greater Los Angeles is widely considered the nation’s pandemic epicenter, significant percentages of frontline workers in other professions have also declined to take the vaccine.
On Tuesday, the L.A. County Department of Public Health announced 224 new coronavirus deaths, pushing the county’s total fatalities since the pandemic began past 11,000. Officials said more than 1,000 of those deaths occurred within the last week.
“Roll out for COVID-19 vaccine continues in the phases recommended by the State and CDC as supply allows,” said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
Chief Moore said LAPD was launching an informational campaign to “encourage people to participate.”
“Will we ever get to 100%? I don’t know. It’s all speculation as to whether or not we can get everyone to take it,” Chief Moore said. “But it’s up to us to make sure that it’s not for a lack of understanding the benefits.”