Those who are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine can make appointments today at the Long Beach Convention Center supersite as the once-scarce shot has become more available at different locations.
The site earlier this month saw massive lines as more groups became eligible to get the vaccine, but as of Monday and Tuesday, walkups were available with hardly any lines as staff waited to dole out doses at the Terrace Theater. As of 10 a.m. today, the site had open appointments throughout the day on the state’s MyTurn.com page.
The city on April 8 opened availability to all residents over the age of 16, while the state followed a week later. As of Monday, more than half of all eligible Long Beach residents had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Long Beach city spokesperson Jennifer De Prez said the city is prioritizing second doses this week due to a limited supply of Moderna. The city expects to receive more Pfizer vaccine doses later this week and anticipates a higher number of appointments Thursday through Saturday, she said.
The city this week was allotted a supply of 5,400 Moderna doses and 11,700 Pfizer doses.
The city, for now, is still seeing a healthy demand, she said.
“As vaccine is now available through more providers and locations than it was at the start of the vaccine rollout, people now have access to more options when it comes to vaccine availability,” De Prez wrote in an email. “While people may be receiving vaccines at other locations than the Long Beach Convention Center, there is still a strong, steady demand for receiving a vaccine in Long Beach and the surrounding areas.”
The slowdown at the Convention Center site comes as demand for the vaccine is slowing in some parts of the country, prompting health officials to change tactics to get more shots into arms.
Long Beach Health Department Director Kelly Colopy said the city is working on a targeted approach to address the racial and geographic disparities in vaccine rates with bus shuttles to vaccine sites for areas hardest hit by COVID, popup clinics, door-to-door information campaigns and partnerships with community organizations.
Long Beach appears to be making some gains in the disparities for the vaccine rollout compared to earlier this year, but disparities still persist among race and ZIP code.
Latino residents, for example, make up 42% of the city’s population but account for 25% of vaccinated residents, while White residents account for 28% of the population but 34% of vaccinations.
Overall, Los Angeles County has distributed more than six million doses of the vaccine.