LCF Hits 70% Vaccine Rate as Reopening Broadens

La Cañada Flintridge has one of the highest vaccination rates in the county with 70% of residents 16 and older having received at least one dose of the vaccine as of April 30.
As of Monday, L.A. County has administered more than 8 million doses of the vaccine and 37% of residents are fully inoculated, according to the the Department of Public Health.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles County, what was once the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic with alarmingly high numbers of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths, will officially enter the least restrictive tier of the state’s reopening system called the blueprint for a safer economy. The yellow tier, indicating minimal spread of the coronavirus, will allow bars that do not serve food to provide indoor service at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer, and other businesses to increase capacity with health modifications.
Restaurants, gyms, breweries, wineries and movie theaters can expand capacity to 50% and amusement parks can increase capacity to 35%. Restrictions will be eased for events and large gatherings such as conferences, meetings and receptions.
The L.A. Department of Public Health’s modified health order went into effect today.
According to California’s updated figures released on Tuesday, L.A. County’s adjusted case rate dropped from 1.9 new cases per 100,000 people to 1.6 per 100,000, and the positivity rate 0.9% to 0.7%.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer called the move into the yellow tier a “big deal” but expressed concern over last week’s drop in COVID-19 vaccination numbers. Only 467,134 doses of the vaccine were administered last week compared to 611,592 from April 17-23, which is a 24% decrease.
Over the past week, sites throughout the county have offered vaccinations to people who did not book an appointment.
“While transmission is low here, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, variants of concern are circulating and there is still widespread transmission occurring in other parts of the world,” Ferrer said in a statement on Tuesday. “We know how to get our rates low, now we must keep them low by getting vaccinated and continuing to follow guidance.”
While L.A. Public Health’s plan is to continue to focus on underserved communities and make it as easy as possible for everyone 16 and older to get the vaccine, Ferrer said that the county will also work to answer questions from those who are hesitant to get vaccinated.
“We’re not here to force people to go and get vaccinated,” Ferrer said on Tuesday. “We’re here to present a lot of information to help you see and understand how powerful these vaccines are, how much of a difference it makes.”
President Joe Biden announced a similar plan on Tuesday and set a new goal to administer at least one dose of the vaccine to 70% of adults by July 4, which is about 100 million shots over the next two months.
“We’re going to make it easier than ever to get vaccinated,” said Biden, who wants to make the vaccine more accessible, especially for those in rural areas. “ … If we succeed in this effort as we did with the last, then Americans will have taken a serious step to returning to normal. That’s July 4th, but we’re not there yet.
“We need you to bring it home. Get vaccinated. In two months, let’s celebrate our independence as a nation and our independence from this virus. We can do this. We will do this.”
The president also urged those with reservations about the safety of the vaccine to talk to medical professionals and people who are inoculated.
“Getting vaccinated not only protects you but also reduces the risk that you give the virus to somebody else,” Biden said.
The country’s vaccination efforts may be bolstered soon as Pfizer expects the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize the administration of its COVID-19 vaccine to children between 12-15, and the president said that the country will “immediately move to make about 20,000 pharmacy sites across the country ready to vaccinate those adolescents.”
The idea of herd immunity has been widely discussed and embraced by government officials and Americans since the pandemic began. Ferrer didn’t say when it would be attainable in L.A. County but emphasized the importance of the vaccine.
“One thing we know for sure is this vaccine is very powerful,” Ferrer said. “We have so much data now here just in L.A. County about the fact that almost everyone who’s vaccinated isn’t getting infected. Very few people in [the daily new cases count] are fully vaccinated people. Almost no one is hospitalized that’s been fully vaccinated. Really, almost no one has died who is fully vaccinated in L.A. County.”