LOS ANGELES, Calif. Nov 22 – While booster shots are now available to all fully vaccinated adults 18 years and older, uptake has been uneven in L.A. County.
As of November 17, nearly 1 million additional or booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Los Angeles County residents.
Among the 4.8 million residents eligible for additional or booster doses, booster uptake has been lower in hardest-hit, highest-need ZIP codes (defined using the Healthy Places Index and other criteria), than in other ZIP codes, with 6.9% of residents in high-need ZIP codes receiving boosters as of November 11, 2021, compared with 12.6% in other ZIP codes. Simultaneously, the County has seen great success vaccinating skilled nursing facility residents: as of November 16, of 341 skilled nursing facilities, 334 (98%) had completed or scheduled a booster dose vaccination clinic to take place before the end of last week.
Unfortunately, over the weekend, Los Angeles County has surpassed the grim milestone of 27,000 COVID-19 deaths which serves as a reminder of the massive devastation COVID-19 has caused. To date, Public Health has identified 27,017 deaths and 1,520,504 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today, Public Health confirms 9 new deaths and 733 new cases of COVID-19. The number of cases and deaths reflect reporting delays over the weekend.
Of the nine new deaths reported today, one person who passed away was over the age of 80, three people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, three people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, and two people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49. Seven of them had underlying health conditions.
There are 569 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for nearly 9,352,000 individuals, with 15% of people testing positive. Today’s test positivity rate is 0.9%.
“It is with much sorrow that we surpass 27,000 COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County. We send our deepest sympathies to everyone mourning the passing of a loved one or friend due to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Since boosters first became available to selected adults in late September, we’ve seen uptake patterns suggesting that people in the hardest-hit neighborhoods are not getting booster shots as frequently as those in other L.A County neighborhoods. With the CDC now recommending boosters to all adults 18 and older, and with mounting data showing that vaccine efficacy is waning over time and that boosters reduce the risk of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths among adults of all ages, it’s important that all eligible adults 18 years and older get their COVID-19 booster doses.”
Additionally, residents five years of age and older are now eligible to receive the vaccine free of charge, regardless of immigration status. Appointments are not needed at any of the Public Health vaccination sites where first, second, and third doses are available.