By THEIR Numbers: (1) 34,000 of 52,000 LB Residents Who Got First COVID-19 Shot Haven't Yet Received Second Shot And (2) City Still Scheduling Appointments For Some In Priority Groups Who Still Haven't Gotten Their First Shot
|(Feb,. 19, 2021, 4:22 p.m.)-- A Feb. 18 email sent to LB residents by the City of Long Beach indicates that (1) 34,000 of 54,000 LB residents who received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose still haven't received their second dose and (2) an undisclosed number of health care workers, older adults and food sector employees still haven't received their first appointments for vaccinations.
The carefully worded City email states: "To date, more than 74,000 vaccine doses have been given in the City of Long Beach. Of these, more than 54,000 are first doses and the remaining 20,000 are second doses. We have continued to prioritize second doses throughout February and are actively pulling people from VaxLB to schedule first appointments for health care workers, older adults, educators, and food sector employees as vaccine is available. In addition to second doses this week, the City is administering more than 5,000 first doses, including 1,500 for Long Beach Unified School District employees and 700 for private schools and early childhood educators."
In a policy decision touted by Mayor Robert Garcia (although under LB's City Charter he doesn't set city policy), the City chose to escalated administration of first vaccine doses without putting aside sufficient vaccine for second doses. The result has left some LB residents unable to get their first doses because those vaccines are now being used to provide second doses for the early vaccinated individuals.
The Feb. 18 city statement doesn't say how many second vaccine doses the City administered in the past week.
LBREPORT.com sought comment today (Feb. 19) from the city management's Joint Informaton Center but found it closed for "furlough Friday."
As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, Mayor Garcia and City Councilmembers bent state of CA vaccine priority rules to have themselves vaccinated on or about January 14 (LBREPORT.com coverage here.)
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The Feb. 18 city email stops short of repeating a claim Tweeted (Feb 18) by Mayor Robert Garcia that "all K-5 teachers and school staff will have had an opportunity to be vaccinated with both doses before reopening."
On Feb. 19, Garcia Tweeted that "we" (unclear to whom his plural refers) "had vaccinated 7,000 educators."
The Feb. 18 emailed city statement acknowledges that of this week's 5,000+ first doses, 1,500 went to Long Beach Unified School District employees with 700 for private schools and early childhood education. The Teachers Ass'n of LB and LBUSD management haven't said exactly how many teachers and support staff will be involved in TK-5 classroom learning.
TALB has 12,000 total members. In contrast to the LA Teachers Union (UTLA, which insisted on vaccinations for all teachers and support), TALB's leadership left its exact stance on this matter publicly unclear. TALB executive director Chris Callopy didn't respond to LBREPORT.com's Feb. 17 phone message seeking clarification of the union's stance.
Individuals who received their first shot on or before Friday Feb. 19 and receive their second dose as recommended 21 days (Pfizer vaccine) or 28 days (Moderna vaccine) later plus ten days to build full immunity could meet LBUSD's stated March 29 schedule for opening TK-5 classrooms...but with only days to spare and little or no room to spare for those who receive their first doses later..
At its Feb. 17 Board meeting, LB's elected Board of Education (a majority of whom were endorsed by TALB) went along with LBUSD management's position on reopening (LBREPORT.com coverage here.)
During Board colloquy, it was mentioned that LBUSD teachers/employees will be offered an "opportunity" for the vaccine, but (according to LBUSD) it can't require teachers/staff to take the vaccination.
The Biden and Newsom administrations have both cited declines in recent COVID-19 cases to invite/encourage/pressure local school districts to begin to reopen, initially for elementary school children, with or without the vaccine.
A Feb. 12 updated advisory from the Centers for Disease Control (source: here) indicates the current level of COVID-19 in Long Beach is within a category CDC describes as "Moderate" to "Higher" risk of transmission
Below is the most recent publicly provided Long Beach data (source: City of LB COVID-19 dashboard linked on LBREPORT>com front page )
CDC's accompanying text (most recently updated Feb. 12) here) states in pertinent part:
As communities plan safe delivery of in-person instruction in K-12 schools, it is essential to decide when and under what conditions to help protect students, teachers, and staff and slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is critical for schools to open as safely and as soon as possible, and remain open, to achieve the benefits of in-person learning and key support services. To enable schools to open and remain open, it is important to adopt and consistently implement actions to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 both in schools and in the community. If community transmission is high, students and staff are more likely to come to school while infectious, and COVID-19 can spread more easily in schools. The association between COVID-19 incidence and transmission in school settings and levels of community transmission underscores the importance of controlling disease spread in the community to protect teachers, staff, and students in schools. This means that all community members, students, families, teachers, and school staff should take actions to protect themselves and others where they live, work, learn, and play. In short, success in preventing the introduction and subsequent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in schools is connected to and facilitated by preventing transmission in communities.
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