LA County’s low-income areas are less likely to receive COVID boosters

The percentage of vaccinated Los Angeles County residents who received COVID-19 booster vaccinations is significantly lower in poorer neighborhoods than in other areas.

In the urgently needed areas of the county, only 6.9% of fully vaccinated people eligible for additional COVID-19 vaccinations had received a booster by November 11. The areas were identified using a socio-economic measurement tool called the California Healthy Places Index, among others, and include locations such as South LA, southeast Los Angeles County, Eastside, eastern San Fernando Valley, and El Monte.

According to the LA County Department of Public Health, cover letter in wealthier areas was 12.6% on Jan. November significantly higher.

“We have seen intake patterns suggesting that people in the hardest-hit neighborhoods are not receiving booster vaccinations as frequently as in other LA County’s neighborhoods,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.

Initially, the criteria set by the federal health authorities limited access to refresher aids for elderly residents, people with certain underlying illnesses or who were considered to be at high risk of COVID-19 exposure due to their place of residence or work. But now all adults can get the extra doses – as long as they’re at least six months away from their last Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna jab, or two months away from the single shot from Johnson & Johnson.

“With growing data showing that the effectiveness of the vaccine wears off over time and that booster vaccinations reduce the risk of COVID-19 hospitalizations and death in adults of all ages, it is important that all eligible adults 18 and over get their COVID Received 19 booster doses, ”Ferrer said.

The recent discovery of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has also turned the outlook for the pandemic on its head. And health experts reiterate that vaccines and booster shots for those who are fully vaccinated offer the strongest protection available from the coronavirus.

During the vaccination campaign spanning nearly a year, officials have said it is important to make sure vaccines are distributed and administered fairly.

But while that work is ongoing, it was easier said than done to fill the gaps. And differences have already emerged – not just in terms of boosters, but also in children aged 5 to 11, who have only recently become suitable for the syringes.

LA County health officials said last week that while 13% of whites, 14% of Asian Americans, and 12% of Native Americans in that age group had been injected by November 14, the same was true for only 4% of blacks and 3% of Latino children.

In the neighborhoods most in need, 3.9% of children in this age group were vaccinated, compared with 12.5% ​​of children in other communities. The nationwide quota was 7.2% at the time.

Officials say the widespread use of boosters will help improve immunity in winter – when the cooler weather increasingly encourages people to congregate indoors, where the coronavirus can spread more easily.

But residents who have not yet been vaccinated can also benefit from rolling up their sleeves. Unvaccinated Californians are seven times more likely to develop COVID-19, 13 times more likely to be hospitalized, and nearly 16 times more likely to die of the disease than those who are fully vaccinated, according to state health data.

“Any time we’ve had a large spike in cases, the disproportionate health outcomes have affected our black and brown residents the most,” Ferrer said at a recent briefing.

“In the past, this most likely reflected differences in workplace and living conditions. Unfortunately, as we saw during the summer wave, these differences in health outcomes are now fueled by differences in vaccination status, ”she added. “If we don’t do better, health outcomes by race and ethnicity could be even more disproportionate if we see further increases.”

Of all races and ethnic groups, Los Angeles County’s black and Latin American residents are less likely to be vaccinated than white, Asian American, and Native American residents.

According to data released in mid-November, of LA County’s 5 and older residents, 54% of black residents and 59% of Latin American residents received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared with 72% of whites and 75%. of Native Americans and 80% of Asian American residents. The nationwide rate is 75%.

Officials have warned that younger people – because they are less likely to be vaccinated – report higher coronavirus case rates and are significant sources of coronavirus transmission. While approximately 75% of LA County’s 12 to 29 year olds received at least one injection, 80% of 30 and 40 year olds did, as did 84% of those under 64 and 95% of seniors 65 and older.

Among the unvaccinated groups aged 12 and over, teenagers report the highest monthly coronavirus case rate – almost 30% worse than younger adults up to 49 years of age. This is a change from earlier in the pandemic when young adults were at worst-case rates in the county.

Older, unvaccinated people are still the most likely to be hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.

Health officials have expressed hope that continued safety measures – such as ordering the county health authorities to show proof of vaccination before entering bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges – will help mitigate a potential winter surge.

So far, companies seem to be largely following the requirement. For the week that ended November 12, district officials reported more than 80% compliance in bars, nightclubs and lounges.

Customers who do not provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 can still be served in an outside area of ​​the store in accordance with the district’s health ordinance. These customers can still enter the interior of the store for limited reasons such as: B. to use the toilet, pay the bill or pick up items to take away.

Another stricter law for the City of Los Angeles, generally requiring visitors to indoor businesses such as restaurants, gyms, and theaters to provide proof of vaccination, went into effect Nov. 8, and enforcement began Monday.

The original law also required visitors to shopping malls and shopping malls to provide proof of vaccination. However, LA city council has already signaled that malls and malls will soon be exempted from the vaccine verification rule.

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