Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Jack Simon
Observer Staff Writer 

Inoculation Rates in Santa Monica, Brentwood Much Higher than in Poorer Communities

21% of Local Residents Have Been Vaccinated So Far, says L.A. County Department of Public Health's chief science officer, Paul Simon

 

Mary Leipziger

Mural honoring healthcare workers in Santa Monica

Santa Monica and other wealthy communities in the Westside have some of the highest Covid-19 inoculation rates in Los Angeles County even though their residents were less affected by the coronavirus, according to new data released by the Public Health Department this week.

On the other hand, lower-income communities in the Eastside, which were devastated by the pandemic, have seen fewer vaccines for their residents, health officials said.

More than 21% of the residents of Santa Monica have been vaccinated, the county data show. In Brentwood, the inoculation rate is 28% while 22.7% of Culver City residents have been vaccinated. Other Westside communities with high vaccination rate are Mar Vista at 19%, West Los Angeles at 18.6% and Westchester at 16.8%.

The infection rate in these Westside communities ranges from 90 to 145 per 100,000 people – some of the lowest totals in the county.

By contrast, in the eastern part of the County, vaccinations are running less than 10%. In Lennox and parts of South Los Angeles, less than 8% of the residents in the have been vaccinated, and only 7% of Cudahy residents have received their first vaccines.

The infection rate in these Eastside communities ranges from 464 to 550 per 100,000 people – very high numbers in the county.

"The findings are deeply concerning and provide further illustration of the deeply rooted health inequities that exist in our society," said Dr. Paul Simon, the L.A. County Department of Public Health's chief science officer.

Analyses by public health officials have found out that low vaccination rates are also the eastern San Fernando Valley, the Antelope Valley, segments of the San Gabriel Valley.

In downtown Los Angeles, the infection rate is 693 per 100,00 people – one of the highest in the county but, so far, roughly 14% of the residents in that area have been inoculated.

As of Wednesday, 9.5 million vaccine doses had been administered statewide, according to the California Department of Public Health. Los Angeles County has administered 2.25 million doses, as of March 2.

This week, teachers and the staff at Santa Monica- Malibu Unified School District began receiving vaccinations through a partnership with Providence St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica in preparation for the upcoming launch of in-person instruction. The staff of 2,000 is expected to be vaccinated within the next 10 days, school officials said.

SMMUSD is planning to start in-person academics and instruction at elementary (TK-5) schools beginning the week of March 15.

"Vaccinating our teachers and staff brings us closer to expanding the reopening of our TK-12 schools as quickly as possible," said Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Dr. Mark Dr. Kelly. "We are all interested in the return of students and staff as soon as it is safe to do so."

 

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