Long Beach to close Convention Center vaccination site by end of July

The city announced Wednesday that it will stop using the Long Beach Convention Center as a mass vaccination site by the end of July as it pivots to a mobile vaccine program that will deploy health workers to parks, city beaches and farmers markets.

July 30 will be the last day of operation for the Convention Center as a vaccine site, which it has been for over six months when city officials first opened it in January. The Convention Center, which had also served as a migrant child intake center for the past few months, is set to resume hosting events in early August.

The site was the largest in the city and administered over 215,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, according to city data, but vaccination rates have tapered off in the city over the past few months. The rise of the delta variant leading to spikes in COVID-19 case numbers in the region forced county and city leaders to reinstitute a mask mandate for all people while in indoor settings earlier this month.

While over 69% of the eligible population of the city has received at least one dose of a vaccine, Long Beach and other cities have struggled to increase vaccination rates after the initial rush of residents wanting to get vaccinated was seen in the spring.

Just 216 people received a first or second vaccine dose on the last day of data provided on the city’s portal, which was updated July 27.

This week the city announced that city employees would be required to show proof of vaccination or submit to regular testing. Cal State Long Beach and Long Beach City College announced they will also require proof of vaccination for students, faculty and staff returning to campus this fall.

Parts of the city including west, central and north Long Beach are still hovering around 50% in terms of the percentage of residents who are vaccinated.

The city has already deployed resources to parks in those areas with pop-up clinics in McArthur, Houghton and Admiral Kidd Parks and a weekend clinic at Cabrillo High School. The city’s announcement Wednesday adds six parks and beaches to its list of mobile vaccine sites that will run during August.

Those sites include El Dorado, Heartwell and Recreation Parks as well as Junipero and Mother’s Beach. Here is a list of the mobile vaccines that will be run during the month of August:

  • El Dorado Park West – Good Neighbor Park (2800 N. Studebaker Rd.), Wednesdays, August 4 and August 25, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Junipero Beach (1 Junipero Ave.), Wednesday, August 11, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Saturdays, August 14 and August 21, 9:30 a.m. to noon.
  • Mother’s Beach (5839 Appian Way), Wednesday, August 18, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Heartwell Park (5801 E. Parkcrest St.), Thursdays, August 5 and August 19, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Colorado Lagoon (5200 E. Eliot St.), Thursdays, August 12 and August 26, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Recreation Park (4900 E. 7th St.), Saturdays, August 7 and August 28, 9:30 a.m. to noon.

A full list of mobile vaccine clinics as well as the site at the Long Beach City College Pacific Coast Campus site and their operating hours can be found on the city’s website.

CSU to require vaccinations for faculty, staff and students starting in the fall

As COVID cases rise, under 50% of residents in some parts of Long Beach are vaccinated

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post.
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