Long Beach is now offering bivalent COVID-19 vaccines to children as young as 6 months old, the Health Department announced today.

The news comes a week after both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the updated vaccines can be administered to kids ages 6 months and up.

The updated bivalent vaccines protect against the early strains of COVID-19 and the more recent Omicron variants that proved to be much more contagious.

Long Beach has seen a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases. The latest data from the city’s Health Department shows that, as of Wednesday, the case rate was 13.2 per 100,000 people, and the positivity rate was 12.9%. In late October, by comparison, the daily case rate was consistently lower than 5 per 100,000 people, and the positivity rate was below 5%.

Health officials have said Thanksgiving gatherings likely contributed to the spike.

“With the holidays approaching, it is more important than ever to provide our children the best protection possible against COVID-19,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a Friday statement. “These bivalent vaccines are safe and easy ways to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe this season.”

Starting today, the Health Department will offer the Moderna and Pfizer bivalent vaccines to children ages 6 months and up at the following city-run vaccination sites:

  • Cabrillo High School (2100-2198 Monitor Ave.)
    • Fridays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.
    • Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • El Dorado Park West (2800 N. Studebaker Road)
    • Wednesdays, 2 to 4 p.m.

The city is currently administering the vaccines to the newly approved age group on a non-appointment basis. Appointment scheduling via MyTurn will begin in the coming weeks, according to officials.

For more information, visit the city’s website.

Long Beach reports 2 coronavirus deaths as new daily cases remain high, other metrics drop