More than 1 million booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Los Angeles County, but health officials said Monday residents in neighborhoods hard hit by the virus have a lower rate of receiving the additional doses.
According to the county Department of Public Health, there are about 4.8 million county residents eligible for booster shots, but only about 6.9% of those in hard-hit, high-need areas received booster shots as of Nov. 17. That compares with 12.6% in other areas.
“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,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “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.”
According to the county, 98% of skilled nursing facility residents had either received a booster dose or had one scheduled by the end of last week. The county on Monday reported another nine COVID-19 deaths, raising the county virus-related death toll to 27,017. Another 733 new cases were also reported Monday, giving the county a cumulative total from throughout the pandemic of 1,520,504. Case and death numbers tend to be lower on Mondays due to delays in reporting from the weekend.
According to state figures, there were 558 COVID-19-positive patients in county hospitals as of Monday, down from 569 on Sunday. Of those patients, 156 were in intensive care, up slightly from 152 on Sunday. The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 0.9% as of Monday.
Ferrer said last week 82% of county residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine, and 73% are fully vaccinated. Of the county’s overall population of 10.3 million people, 71% have received at least one dose, and 63% are fully vaccinated.
Black residents continue to have the lowest vaccination rates, at 54%, followed by Latina/o residents at 59%, whites at 72% and Asians at 80%.
Of the roughly 5.99 million residents who were fully vaccinated as of Nov. 16, 75,249 have subsequently tested positive for the virus, for a rate of 1.26%, Ferrer said. Of the vaccinated population, 2,528 have been hospitalized, for a rate of 0.042%, and 422 have died, a rate of 0.007%.