Public health officials in Pasadena reported significant progress in vaccination distribution Thursday as new infections continued declining in the city.
Nine new infections were detected and a single additional fatality was reported, Pasadena City spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. The death was that of a man in his 60s who lived in the general community, as opposed to a long-term care facility.
All told, the city had recorded 10,834 cases of COVID-19 and 312 fatalities.
More than 30,000 Pasadena residents had been inoculated with at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine as of Thursday, city officials said. About half of them have also received their second doses.
The Pasadena Public Health Department reported that 71% of seniors 65 and older had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“We are highly encouraged by this positive data,” the Pasadena Public Health Department said in a written statement.
“High rates of vaccination have been made possible in part through the efforts of the Pasadena Public Health Department and Huntington Hospital with high-volume vaccination dispensing sites, mobile vaccine strike teams, and daily clinics,” the statement added. “The Pasadena Public Health Department and Huntington Hospital are planning a series of community-located clinics in the upcoming weeks and months to serve older adults with less healthcare access in our community.”
COVID-19 mortality rates have been the highest among seniors, by far, officials said. More than 84% of the Pasadenans who have lost their lives to the virus were over 65.
“Vaccinating this group remains a high priority,” according to the statement. “Pasadena seniors wishing to make an appointment to be vaccinated can contact the Citizen Service Center at (626) 744-7311 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. An inquiry form can also be submitted online at healthforms.cityofpasadena.net/v/SeniorVaccine.
Vaccine supplies remain in short supply, and the amount of doses received by the city each week is unpredictable, officials said.
“Even with limited quantities of vaccine allocated by the state to Pasadena, our priority is to ensure that all eligible residents and workers in the hardest-hit communities have easy and equitable access to vaccines,” the statement said.
While much work lies ahead, Pasadena Director of Public Health Dr. Ying-Ying Goh said the progress thus far has been a big step in the right direction and reiterated that the vaccines are “safe and effective.”
“Vaccination is the way that our community will be able to emerge from this pandemic. We are so pleased that 71% of Pasadena residents 65 and over have received vaccines,” she said.
“Vaccine supply has been an ongoing challenge, and we are operating at a fraction of our total vaccinating infrastructure capacity because of lack of supply,” according to Goh. “In the coming months, everyone who wants a vaccine will have access to a vaccine. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when. Partners like Pasadena City College and Huntington Hospital have been instrumental in working with us to expand vaccine access for the community, and we look forward to expanding these partnerships in the upcoming weeks and months.”
The next groups eligible to receive vaccination after seniors include teachers, daycare workers, food and agriculture workers, and emergency response personnel. Most Pasadena firefighters have already received both doses, and most Pasadena police officers have received at least one, officials said.
Vaccine doses are also being distributed through federally run sites and commercial pharmacies.
Eligible Pasadena residents were urged to sign up to reserve an appointment at myturn.ca.gov or talk to their healthcare providers.
Information on vaccine availability at local pharmacies can be found online:
- Rite Aid: https://www.riteaid.com/pharmacy/covid-qualifier
- Vons: https://www.vons.com/pharmacy/covid-19.html
- Pavilions: https://www.pavilions.com/pharmacy/covid-19.html
- Ralphs: https://www.ralphs.com/rx/covid-eligibility
- CVS: https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine
- Walgreens: https://www.walgreens.com/topic/promotion/covid-vaccine.jsp
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health also reported positive momentum on Thursday, as the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 countywide dipped below 2,000 for the first time in nearly three months, reaching 1,988. Thirty percent of those patients were being treated in intensive care units.
The agency announced 2,072 new infections and 132 deaths, raising the county’s overall totals to 1,187,474 documented infections and 21,102 fatalities.
Public health officials also reported 10 new cases of the COVID-19-related condition MIS-C, which affects children. A total of 100 cases of the condition have been reported.
The recent increase in MIS-C appears to be linked to the recent holiday viral surges, according to L.A. County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer.
“We continue to experience the repercussions from the January surge in our increased number of children with MIS-C,” she said. “While cases and hospitalization numbers have declined, COVID-19 remains widespread and deadly and variant cases are increasing.
“We still have more progress to make that will allow for further re-openings so please continue keeping your distance from others, wearing a mask correctly over both your nose and mouth, and washing your hands often,” Ferrer said.
Thursday’s daily test positivity rate for the county was recorded at 3.2%.
State health officials reported 4,965 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday. An influx of backlogged cases, including 806 from added to records in Los Angeles County on Wednesday, has resulted in a daily statewide death toll of 1,114, which was the largest number of deaths reported in a single day by far.
In total, the state has documented 3,460,326 cases of the virus and 50,991 fatalities, according to the California Department of Public Health.
But rates of new infections continued to steadily decline.
The statewide average positivity rate over the prior week fell to 2.9%, while the 14-day average reached the lowest level seen since Oct. 30, at 3.1%, CDPH data shows.
As of Thursday, L.A. County represented 34% of California’s COVID-19 infections and 41% of the state’s deaths.