Long Beach, CA – Today, Mayor Robert Garcia, Long Beach City Manager Tom Modica and Health and Human Services (Health Department) Director Kelly Colopy, along with other City employees critical to COVID-19 emergency response efforts, received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “I’m grateful that approximately 15,000 of our critical healthcare workers and seniors have already been vaccinated. It’s safe and important for all to do.”
The Mayor, City Manager and Health Department Director are part of Phase 1B, which includes City workers needed for pandemic response and emergency responders. It also includes employees from Disaster Preparedness and the Emergency Communications Center, including 911 operators; employees of the Long Beach Police Department; City Council members; the City’s Emergency Operations Center personnel; and others involved in pandemic response continuity of government and emergency operations.
Phase 1B also includes adults aged 65 and older, who will be vaccinated beginning Saturday, Jan. 16; food sector employees, who will be vaccinated beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19; and education sector employees, who will be vaccinated beginning the week of Jan. 25. More specifics regarding food sector and education workers will be available in the next few days.
So far, the City of Long Beach has seen a high demand for the vaccine, which has proven safe and effective. The City also has a comprehensive vaccine information page for those who have questions.
“We know some people have concerns about the vaccine. These vaccines have been carefully developed and evaluated in multiple clinical trials as well as at the state level to ensure their safety and efficacy,” said Health Department Director Kelly Colopy. “The vaccine is so important. The more people take the vaccine, the sooner we can fully reopen our schools, places of worship and our economy.”
The pandemic continues to sicken and kill people: more than 500 people in the City of Long Beach have died from the virus. It is important to continue to wear face coverings, practice physical distancing, wash hands frequently and refrain from gathering to reduce spread of the virus until enough people are vaccinated to provide herd immunity.
The Health Department is managing the vaccine distribution process in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the State and have been working closely with area hospitals to expedite distribution.
Administration of the vaccine to the general public is expected in early summer 2021.
COVID-19 continues to be transmitted in Long Beach and anyone who is experiencing symptoms or has been exposed to the virus is encouraged to get tested. Tests may be scheduled online or by calling the City’s information line, 562.570.INFO (4636), between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Appointments are required and can be made up to three days in advance.
As of today, 42,281 Long Beach residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Approximately 28,594 have recovered and 506 residents have died from the virus.