Long Beach will begin offering COVID-19 booster shots to children ages 5 to 11 as of Monday, May 23, city health officials said, following the CDC’s announcement Thursday regarding expanded eligibilities for the vaccinations.

The booster will only be available as the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, officials said. It must be administered at least five months after the child gets their second dose of the COVID vaccine, officials said.

“This is a huge milestone in our effort to keep our children and our community safe,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement Friday. “We have vaccine clinics open six days a week to ensure every resident can get vaccinated, boosted, and protected from COVID-19.”

In the midst of rising COVID-19 cases ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, health officials are urging people to get vaccinated and boosted as case rates inch higher from new variants. In Long Beach, 74.4% of residents ages 5 and up are fully vaccinated, but only 37.7% have gotten a booster, according to data from the city.

Long Beach has seen some of its highest COVID-19 case rates in May since the winter, but hospitalizations and deaths have so far remained low as health officials credit the county’s high vaccine rate. On Friday, the city’s health department reported 329 new COVID-19 cases, compared to 18 new cases reported around the same time last month.

Across Los Angeles County, officials are once again calling for—but not requiring—people to use masks indoors after the increasing spread of COVID-19 shifted the county from the federal government’s “low” virus-activity level to “medium.” Reaching “high” covid levels would require a sharp increase in COVID-related hospitalizations.

“The task in front of us is similar to the work we’ve had to do at other points over the past two and a half years—slowing transmission,” County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Friday.

All minors still require parental consent in order for a COVID-19 vaccination to be administered, Long Beach officials said. The consent form and appointment portal are available online. Booster shots for children 5 to 11 years old will be available on a “walk-up basis,” starting Monday. Appointments will be available beginning Wednesday, May 25.

The following vaccination sites will be eligible to administer the Pfizer booster shot:

  • Long Beach City College, Pacific Coast Campus (Parking Lot 1, Corner of Orange Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway)
    • Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.
    • Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • El Dorado Park West (2800 N. Studebaker Rd.)
    • Wednesdays in June and July, 3 to 6 p.m.
  • Cabrillo High School (2100-2198 Monitor Ave.)
    • Fridays, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
    • Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Ramona Park (3301 E. 65th St.)
    • Mondays through Wednesdays, 1 to 5 p.m.
    • Thursdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In observance of Memorial Day, all vaccination sites in the city will be closed Monday, May 30.

Long Beach sees rise in new COVID-19 cases, though deaths and hospitalizations remain low

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