Long Beach became the latest jurisdiction to open the doors for widespread access to COVID-19 vaccines, announcing Thursday that it will begin vaccinating residents aged 16 and older.
“As a result of our progress, we feel comfortable and confident that we can start immunizing the general population now,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. during a briefing.
Walk-in appointments will be open to residents from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday, at the Long Beach Convention Center, according to city officials.
About 500 appointments will be available daily, officials added.
Those who live and work in the city will be able to book appointments online through the state’s My Turn system starting April 15, the same day California as a whole will also extend vaccine eligibility to all. people aged 16 or over.
Los Angeles County officials have not indicated they will move forward on the state’s schedule. However, Long Beach can do this, as the city has its own health department.
Currently, only Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for people aged 16 and 17. The other two vaccines used in the United States, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are available for ages 18 and over.
While universal access for California adults is imminent, a number of communities have decided to open dates even faster.
In Southern California, Kern, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties have made anyone aged 16 and over eligible to get a shot.
Fresno County said it will do the same starting Friday.
Orange County is allowing anyone 16 years of age and older living in four zip codes hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic – 92701 and 92703 in Santa Ana, 92805 in Anaheim and 92844 in Garden Grove – to be vaccinated.
In the Bay Area, Alameda County allows anyone 16 years of age and over living in a dozen hard-hit postcodes to get vaccinated, including in the neighborhoods of Oakland, Hayward, San Leandro and San Lorenzo unincorporated.
Elsewhere in California, a number of northern counties – such as Contra Costa, Butte, Shasta, and Nevada – are among those that have opened up vaccines to people 16 and older; most require beneficiaries to live or work in these counties. Yuba and Sutter counties have made COVID-19 vaccines available to anyone 18 years of age and older who lives or works there.
the UC Davis Health System in the Sacramento area is also vaccinating people 16 years and older.