|(January 22, 2021, 3:45 p.m.) -- After multiple releases, media events and social network postings by Mayor Robert Garcia and city management inviting a contrary inference, the City of Long Beach now acknowledges that roughly a fifth of the City's residents -- including those age 65+, food workers and education employees -- may not receive City-administered vaccinations for a period extending as long as "several weeks."
"We estimate these groups to include more than 90,000 people [and] [t]he City does not expect to complete this phase for several weeks," says a City Hall released issued in the 1 p.m. hour Jan. 22. It makes no mention of roughly 4/5 of the city's other residents.
The release says appointment slots "are based on the allocation of vaccine doses that the City receives for the following week" and "allocations vary each week and have ranged from 100 to 11,600 doses."
The release says the City has received 2,100 doses for the week of Jan. 25 for vaccinations at the Convention Center and will be "adjusting appointments at the site accordingly."
The City's Jan. 22 release states in pertinent part: "[T]he mass vaccination clinic at the Long Beach Convention Center is full this week and appointments for older adults at LB's Dept. of Health and Human Services "are also full through next week" [putting the latter into February.].
The release (full text below) quotes Mayor Robert Garcia as saying the City's "vaccination program is running smoothly and efficiently and we are proud to be leading the way."
Jan 22 release text below:
Limited Supply of Vaccination Doses; All Residents Now Urged to Sign Up Through VaxLB for Availability Updates
Long Beach, CA - The City of Long Beach continues to administer COVID-19 vaccinations as supply becomes available and is now encouraging all residents to sign up for VaxLB notifications to receive eligibility and future appointment information. The updated VaxLB portal will now notify groups that are currently eligible for vaccine, such as healthcare workers and older adults, and provide notifications to other groups as they become eligible for vaccination.
"Our vaccination program is running smoothly and efficiently and we are proud to be leading the way," said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. "We continue to prioritize our 65 and over residents and are heartened to begin vaccinating our hardworking educators and food workers."
There has been unprecedented interest in vaccinations since the City announced its plan for equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. To date, 29,505 vaccines have been administered free of charge at City-operated sites and medical providers throughout the city. City staff has responded to more than 20,000 inquiries received via email and calls on the vaccine information line.
Appointment slots are based on the allocation of vaccine doses that the City receives for the following week. Allocations vary each week and have ranged from 100 to 11,600 doses. Due to the extremely limited statewide supply, vaccination appointments at the mass vaccination clinic at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center (Convention Center) are full this week. Appointments for older adults at the Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) are also full through next week.
The City has received 2,100 doses for the week of Jan. 25 for vaccinations at the Convention Center and will be adjusting appointments at the site accordingly. Health Department officials will be working with the Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach Community College and others in the education sector, as well as some food workers to begin offering vaccine within these groups. Additional appointments will be subject to new allocation of vaccine. Long Beach residents who are teachers should first check with their employer about vaccine details, but are encouraged to sign up through VaxLB to receive notifications when they are eligible to receive vaccination.
The City is currently in Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout plan which includes people 65 years of age and older, food workers and education employees. We estimate these groups to include more than 90,000 people. The City does not expect to complete this phase for several weeks. At this time, no further groups will be added to the eligibility list.
All Long Beach residents are encouraged to visit VaxLB, the City’s new online vaccination portal, to learn more about the rollout process and sign up to be notified when it is their turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The City has added new functionality to capture information about those who are currently eligible (such as healthcare workers and older adults) but have not been able to sign up for appointments, so that they can be notified to schedule an appointment as the vaccine becomes available. There are currently no appointments available on VaxLB at this time.
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