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Bivalent Covid-19 and Flu Vaccines Now Offered with Your Pizza in Arena at Los Angeles Lakers LA Clippers and LA Kings Hockey Games

With very few getting the new Covid-19 bivalent booster dose, the Los Angeles County Health Department seeks jab recipients at professional basketball games

November 15, 2022 - Today the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced that they are partnering with Arena, the Los Angeles Lakers, the LA Clippers, and LA Kings to arrange a free vaccination site to be available at the arena during the professional sporting events. Vaccinations can be received from the time doors open until 30 minutes following each game. The service will be available until the end of December.

The vaccination site will be located near Blaze Pizza on the main concourse.

The health department claims that the "updated" booster shot, also called a bivalent booster vaccination can "protect" against the original virus that causes Covid-19 and the current subvariants of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5. The original strain of the virus disappeared from sequenced samples over a year ago. As of November 10, data from sequenced samples showed a decrease in the percent of BA.5 from a high of 91.4% in August to 68.6% currently. BA.4 is too small to show up on a chart. Instead, increasing rapidly in percent of samples sequenced are newer variants: BQ.1.1 (8%), BQ.1 (8.7%), and BF.7 (7.7%). In August, these variants had not yet been seen in Los Angeles. It is unknown if the new bivalent booster shot will provide any protection against the newer variants.

The last set of Covid-19 booster shots did not prove effective in preventing infection. LA County Health Department data in June showed a nearly two-fold increase in infection rates for most adults who received booster shots as opposed to simply getting the initial vaccine series. For adults 18-49 the infection rate approached that of the unvaccinated. Meanwhile, the difference in hospitalizations and deaths between the two groups was negligible.

Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health, stated in a press release that "it has been months since their last booster" for many older people. She added "it makes sense to do our best to think about layering in the protections needed to safeguard the most vulnerable person or people at our gatherings."

Only 13% of eligible adults over 12 have received the bivalent booster. 25% of adults over 65 have done so. The boosted rate is lowest among children 5-11, where only 4% have received the new updated booster shot.

Of the 8 Covid deaths reported on November 10, all were over 50 years of age, and 7 had underlying health conditions.


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