|(January 22, 2021, 1:05 p.m.., updated 2:10 p.m.) -- LBREPORT.com has learned that the LB Unified School District (LBUSD) has been allocated only roughly 1,000 vaccine doses to vaccinate teachers and related LBUSD staff. In City releases, at media arranged events and on social networks, Mayor Robert Garcia has indicated LBUSD vaccinaions would "begin" on Jan. 25 at the same time as many more teachers and LBUSD staff have learned that vaccination appointments currently aren't available.
LBUSD has roughly 12,000 employees (the city's largest employer.) The Teachers Ass'n of Long Beach (TALB) indicates on its website that it has roughly 3,700 members. Information on LBUSD's currently available roughly 1,000 vaccine doses came in response to an inquiry by LBREPORT.com fielded by district spokesman Chris Eftychiou (who recommended following up with LBDHHS for details.)
LBREPORT.com's effort to follow up with LBDHHS was unsuccessful. (The agency's voice mail didn't provide any person to handle our inquiry.) LB's Health Dept. is operated by LB city management. Shortly after noon, LBREPORT.com advised city management's Joint Information Center that we would be reporting these matters and received no response.
UPDATE: Roughly 90 minutes after LBREPORT.com advised city management of this forthcoming story, city management issued a release we quote verbatim bellow [end update]
As separately reported by LBREPORT.com, the offices of Mayor Garcia and City Manager Modica haven't responded to our request to disclose the number of vaccine doses that City when it invited members of the general public age 65+ to sign up for vaccination appointments ]
LBREPORT.oom has made a Public Records Act request seekings documents showing what the Mayor and City Manager knew when they made those public representtions (including boasting that LB was "ahead" of other cities in its vaccine distribution.] Mayor Garcia, who under LB's City Charter has no policy setting authority, recently declared himself the city's "Vaccine Czar."
[UPDATE: City of Long Beach Jan. 22 release]
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.
As new allocation of vaccine becomes available, the Health Department will begin administering it to eligible groups with priority being given to administration of second doses for those who received their vaccine in January and continue vaccinations for healthcare workers and older adults, followed by emergency government workers, food workers and educators. The City is committing to ensuring that everyone who lives, works or learns in Long Beach and wants a vaccine can receive vaccination.
"We encourage everyone to sign up for VaxLB notifications for the most up to date information about vaccination appointments," said Health Department Director Kelly Colopy. "The VaxLB system can conveniently deliver updates directly to you."
The COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose regimen and Health Department officials also need to plan to provide the second dose to those who have already received the initial dose. As vaccine becomes available, the Health Department will contact individuals to notify them to schedule an appointment to receive their second dose. People are encouraged to get their second vaccine as soon as they are notified of availability. While it is recommended for second doses to be administered within a one-month period, there is no maximum interval between first and second doses for either vaccine, and effectiveness will not be impacted if a second dose is administered after the initial 21- to 28-day waiting period.
The City reminds residents to continue practicing all health and safety protocols, including wearing a face covering and maintaining proper physical distance from others, even if they have received COVID-19 vaccinations.
Individuals with additional questions may call 562.570.INFO (4636), option 6, or email COVID19Vaccine@longbdeach
blog comments powered by Disqus
Recommend LBREPORT.com to your Facebook friends:
Follow LBReport.com with:
Contact us: mail@LBReport.com