LOS ANGELES, Calif. Nov 23 – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) continues tracking disparities in COVID-19 vaccinations. Throughout the pandemic, Latino/Latinx and Black/African American residents and those who live in high poverty areas have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective and recommended for everyone ages 5 years and older to help protect against COVID-19.
Among L.A. County children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old, the proportion of White, Asian, and American Indian/Alaska Native children vaccinated so far is three times the proportion of Black and Latinx children vaccinated: 4% of Black children and 3% of Latinx children aged 5 through 11 had received a first dose of vaccine as of November 14, while on the same date, 13%, 14%, and 12% of their White, Asian, and American Indian/Alaska Native counterparts had been vaccinated.
Additionally, in L.A. County’s hardest-hit, highest-need ZIP codes (according to the Healthy Places Index and other criteria) children in these communities have been vaccinated at 1/3 the rate of children in other communities (21,271 [3.9%] of children aged 5-11 in HPI+ ZIP codes have received one dose of vaccine, compared with 43,400 [12.5%] of children aged 5-11 in other ZIP codes).
Today, Public Health confirms 29 new deaths and 725 new cases of COVID-19. Due to schools being closed this week, the County anticipates a smaller number of cases associated with a decrease in testing. On average school testing can account for more than 100,000 tests a day.
Of the 29 new deaths reported today, five people who passed away were over the age of 80, 13 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, four people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, and five people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach and one death was reported by the City of Pasadena. To date, Public Health has identified 1,521,197 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 27,046 deaths.
There are 558 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, 28% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for more than 9,357,000 individuals, with 15% of people testing positive. Today’s test positivity rate is 1.1%.
“I send my deepest sympathies to everyone who is mourning a loved one lost to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “During earlier surges, disparities in outcomes, which affected Black and Latinx residents the most, reflected differences in work exposures or living conditions. More recently, these disparities in outcomes have been fueled by differences in vaccination status that fall along racial and ethnic lines. If we continue to see disparities in pediatric vaccination that put Black and Latinx children at higher risk when transmission increases, we could once again see a situation where these communities suffer the most during a surge.”
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.