Starting in December, California faced a dramatic spike in virus cases concentrated in the southern part of the state and in its main agricultural region, the Central Valley, as well as the spread of a new local strain that may be more transmissible.
Mr. Garcetti said that hospitalizations in Los Angeles were down to about 3,700 on Wednesday, the lowest number in months.
City officials said one of the main issues that led to the shortage was the unpredictability of their allocation of doses. The city does not have its own public health department and receives doses from the county, but the uncertainty at the county, state and federal levels over how many doses are coming in per week has made long-term planning difficult.
“We don’t know what we’re going to get,” said Christopher Covino, who helps oversee vaccine distribution for Mr. Garcetti. “Think of it like income. If I don’t know how much money I’m going to make next week, what do I buy? If you’re planning your life around that, it’s impossible. And if you’re planning a whole massive vaccination program where you’re trying to vaccinate 20,000 people a day, it’s an issue.”
Dodger Stadium was one of several mass vaccination sites to open at stadiums and convention centers across the country. The sites typically give out doses by the thousands in a drive-through format, allowing people to remain in their vehicles. But the mass-vaccine model has run into supply, technical and logistical problems. In Dallas, city officials struggled with technical glitches in its appointment registration system that led to people being turned away at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
Two mass vaccine sites in Arizona, at State Farm Stadium and the Phoenix Municipal Stadium, were not in danger of running out of vaccine, but officials were limiting appointments at the sites based on the anticipated supply of the Pfizer vaccine, said a spokesman with the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Despite shortage concerns, Los Angeles will continue its mobile vaccination program, Mr. Garcetti said. “We can’t afford to see the outbreaks and, quite frankly, the unequal deaths that we’re seeing in communities of color,” he said.