70% of Long Beach residents 18 and older are vaccinated against COVID-19

About 70% of Long Beach residents 18 years and over have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, officials announced Thursday.

The city hailed the achievement to inoculate a majority of people 18 years and over with at least one dose as a milestone in the ongoing campaign to vaccinate the population against the virus.

The vaccinated group accounts for over 250,000 residents.

Citywide, Long Beach officials have vaccinated 56.7% of residents of all ages. Children under 12 are not currently eligible to receive a vaccine.

For the remaining unvaccinated communities, which are mostly concentrated in densely populated neighborhoods in West, Central and North Long Beach, the pandemic still poses a threat, with unmasked public gatherings happening again and bringing back a sense of normalcy.

Neighborhoods in the 90805 ZIP code in North Long Beach are just below 50% vaccinated. The 90813 ZIP code in Central Long Beach is reporting that 42% of the population has been inoculated, according to the city’s vaccine data portal, compared to nearly 70% in the 90815 ZIP code in East Long Beach.

While recent case rates have stayed well below numbers that were recorded in January, infection rates have gone up.

Long Beach reported 3.7 new cases per 100,000 residents on July 3, which would have placed the city in the orange tier—the color-coded measurement the state previously used.

Data tracked by the Post showed that the health department reported 77 new cases on July 3, the highest number since Feb. 26 when the city reported 103 new cases.

Experts worry the new delta variant of the virus is more transmissible than the original wild strand and poses a major threat to unvaccinated residents.

Nearly all COVID-related deaths in the nation were unvaccinated people, the Associated Press reported. Long Beach health officials have not reported a new death since June 16.

With 70% of Long Beach residents 18 years and older receiving at least one dose of the vaccine, it does not mean that one shot will offer full protection against the virus, Chelsey Magallon, a city spokeswoman, said in an email.

Health officials have partnered with community organizations and nonprofits based in underserved communities to lead their vaccine efforts and reach people who may have language and cultural barriers impeding them from receiving the vaccine.

Since early May, the nonprofit groups have contacted more than 27,200 families and 24,360 individuals through door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, texting, social media and educational events, according to a memo from Kelly Colopy, director of Health and Human Services.

The groups focused primarily to help residents on the census tracts most impacted in Central, North and West Long Beach in English, Spanish, Khmer, Samoan and Tongan, the memo read.

Though the city is suspending vaccinations at the drive-up clinic in Downtown on July 17, pop-up and mobile vaccine sites remain all over the city:

  • Thursday, July 15, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Heartwell Park on 5801 E. Parkcrest St.
  • Saturday, July 10 and July 31, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Junipero Beach on 1 Junipero Ave., south of Ocean Boulevard.
  • Sunday, July 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at St. Lucy Catholic Church on 2301 Santa Fe Ave.
  • Wednesday, July 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at El Dorado Park on 7550 E. Spring St.
  • Saturday, July 17, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Recreation Park on 4900 E. Seventh St.
  • Wednesday, July 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Thursday, July 8 and July 29, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Colorado Lagoon on 5200 E. Eliot St.
  • Saturday, July 24, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Belmont Pool on 4320 E. Olympic Plaza.

Staff writer Brandon Richardson contributed to this report.

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Sebastian Echeverry is the North Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of his grant-funded position with the Long Beach Post. If you want to support Sebastian's work, you can donate to his Report for America position at lbpost.com/support.