PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

9/22/2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 092223-2
Subject:
Long Beach Health Department Now Administering COVID-19 Vaccine to Uninsured and Underinsured Only
Contact:
Jennifer Rice Epstein
562.441.3590
Jennifer.RiceEpstein@longbeach.gov
Public Affairs Officer
Department of Health and Human Services




Long Beach, CA - Effective immediately, the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine only to people who are un- or underinsured. While vaccine is available to most U.S. adults through private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid plans, there are still 25 to 30 million adults without health insurance and additional adults whose insurance does not cover all COVID-19 vaccine costs. The City is adjusting its vaccine operations to align with the CDC's Bridge Access Program.

“Ensuring vaccine is accessible to everyone is important for the health and wellbeing of our entire community,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “Dedicating City-run vaccination clinics to support those who are underserved will help increase people’s access to the vaccine, which in turn will help prevent severe illness and hospitalizations.”

The Health Department will administer this vaccine free of charge to individuals ages 12 and older, effective immediately. Vaccines for children 6 months and older will be available beginning Wednesday, Sept. 27. The City will provide these vaccines to people without health insurance or who are underinsured. Insured residents are encouraged to obtain the updated COVID-19 vaccine through their healthcare providers or local pharmacies such as CVS, Albertsons, Walgreens, Vons and Pavilions, which will offer the updated monovalent vaccine.

City-run vaccination clinics are also now only offering the monovalent vaccines, as the Food and Drug Administration has deauthorized bivalent vaccine. The updated vaccines were created to more closely target currently circulating strains of coronavirus. These vaccines significantly reduce the risk of developing severe COVID-19 complications and hospitalization, ultimately protecting against avoidable severe illness or death. These updated mRNA vaccines are fully licensed for individuals age 12 years and older, with emergency use authorization for those age 6 months to 11 years.

“There is great importance in receiving the updated COVID-19 vaccine this fall to protect yourself against severe disease and hospitalization,” said City Health Officer Anissa Davis. “Vaccinations are one of the most important ways to combat COVID-19, especially with the continuous development of new variants.”

With the emergence of continuous variants, the FDA anticipates that COVID-19 vaccines may need annual updates, like the seasonal influenza vaccine.

The recommended vaccine schedule varies by age and condition. The vaccine schedule recommendations are now as follows:

  • All individuals age 5 years and older should receive one dose of the 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The schedule for children age 6 months to 4 years depends on whether they’ve been previously vaccinated or not; they should complete an initial series (two doses of Moderna or three doses of Pfizer).
  • Moderately or severely immunocompromised individuals should complete a 3-dose initial series with at least one dose of the 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine and may receive one or more additional 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine doses.

To find available appointments, people may visit MyTurn.ca.gov.

The Health Department remains committed to educating residents with up-to-date dosage information and considerations. Vaccination continues to be the most effective means of protection against COVID-19 hospitalization and fatalities. To date, the Department has administered 353,961COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

For the most current schedule for City-run vaccination clinics, please visit longbeach.gov/vaxLB. Individuals with questions or concerns about this transition are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider or the Health Department.

For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep our residents safe, visit longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity and @LBHealthDept on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.