Long Beach mayor, Robert Garcia announced Thursday during a COVID update that there are now over 500 people in the City of Long Beach who have passed away due to COVID-19.
“I want to start by reminding folks how far we have come… We have begun a massive vaccination rollout that has taken us to today where we’re beginning the second phase or group B of vaccination.” Garcia said in his statement.
Garcia noted how successful the vaccination effort in Long Beach has been so far, announcing the news that a vast majority of Group A, which includes healthcare workers, and senior caretakers, and first responders have already been vaccinated. Many in that group have already received their first vaccine and in some cases some are already getting re-vaccinated.
Beginning today, the city will begin vaccinating group B, which includes essential workers, teachers and 911 dispatchers. They will also start vaccinating residents who are aged 65 or older.
Garcia also told the news that starting Tuesday, the city of Long Beach will begin using the Convention Center as a mass vaccination site for essential workers. LBUSD will begin their vaccination on January 25th and LBCC will begin their vaccination rollout on that same week. The city hopes to have an announcement from CSULB when they get their rollout plan setup.
Long Beach Health director, Kelley Colopy announced that the vaccine was being rolled out in an equitable manner. “People who work in stores or restaurants cannot work from home and may not always be able to maintain a physical distance from one another, these folks play a critical role in keeping our city functioning.”
Colopy also stated that many of the frontline healthcare workers are people of color and made it known that vaccinating them was a matter of equity. “We know that black and brown residents have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 throughout this pandemic.”
“The age adjusted rates for hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 is much higher for African Americans and Latinos than it is for others.” Colopy said.
At this time, the vaccine is being offered through large scale drive through centers, but the city plans to roll out mobile vaccine opportunities starting in the springtime. “This will allow us to bring vaccines to members of the community who are most impacted by the virus creating greater access and greater opportunity for people who cannot make it to the large scale opportunities.” Colopy said.
Garcia also announced that next week, the city plans to use technology to aid in their vaccination effort. The online portal, called “VaxLB” will allow residents to put their information in the portal and will notify them when it is their turn to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. It will also update residents on how the vaccinations are going.
For more info on COVID-19, visit LongBeach.gov or call (562) 572-INFO (4636)