LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — The mass vaccination site at the Long Beach Convention Center is closing Friday, even as COVID-19 cases have returned to winter surge levels.
Long Beach city officials say the mass vaccination site will end operations Friday, more than six months after it opened in January. The site administered more than 215,000 doses since it opened in January, and at its peak had more than 1,160 people working there.READ MORE: CHP Motorcycle Officer Involved In Traffic Collision On Eastbound 105 Freeway At Bellflower Boulevard
The site, by most measures, was a success – Long Beach says 72% of its adults have been vaccinated with at least one dose. But with events resuming at the convention center in August, the city says it will move toward smaller, community-based vaccination sites.
The site’s closure comes as new cases, hospitalizations and deaths have gone up, with more than 3,200 new cases reported in the county on Thursday – the highest number reported since February.
“For the first time, we have many more younger people, particularly in that age group of, you know, we call it 18 to 49,” LA County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a briefing this week.READ MORE: First Weekend Eligible Adults Can Receive Pfizer's COVID-19 Booster Shot In Los Angeles County
Doctors also report they are seeing more positive cases in children who are not yet eligible for vaccination. At one Orange County clinic, a doctor on Monday said they had four children under 12 test positive for the virus.
The steep rise in new cases is largely due to the Delta variant, which public health officials say is much more contagious than the original strain of COVID-19.
Long Beach says they will still have easily accessible vaccine clinics available throughout August, including at locations like Granada Beach, MacArthur Park, the Bixby Knolls Farmers Market, and Mother’s Beach. For the full schedule, visit VaxLB.
Los Angeles County is aiming its vaccine efforts at underserved neighborhoods by partnering with Los Angeles County Libraries and offering mobile vaccinations.MORE NEWS: Man Shot And Killed By Huntington Police Saturday As Nearby Crowds Watched U.S. Open Of Surfing
For more on LA County’s vaccination efforts, click here.