Vaccine lines at Dignity Sports Health Carson

Long lines of people ready to get their COVID-19 vaccine at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson on Monday, February 15, 2021. Dignity Health, together with the LA Galaxy joined to vaccinate the underserved communities. They will administer roughly 20,000 vaccines in a week. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

About one in three residents in some more affluent South Bay communities have received coronavirus vaccinations, compared to less than 10% of those in such working-class communities as Lawndale, Lennox and Wilmington, the latest county figures show.

Similar “disturbing disparities” with “marked inequities” in vaccination rates countywide are being seen among the vulnerable population of people 65 and over who have received priority for inoculations, said Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“Much higher vaccination coverage is seen in the most affluent areas of the county,” he said, pointing to a just released county map showing rates among seniors.

“For example, in Beverly Hills, Manhattan Beach and Calabasas over 70% of seniors 65 and older have been vaccinated,” he added, “while in Compton, Cudahy, Lancaster and Palmdale less than 35% have been vaccinated.”

Similar patterns are seen in vaccination figures for all county residents aged 18 and older.

For example, 31.2% of Rolling Hills Estates residents — the highest number for any city in the South Bay — had received a vaccination by Feb. 20, the most recent date for which health department figures are available.

In addition, about 30% of residents in the tiny enclave of Rolling Hills on the Palos Verdes Peninsula have received inoculations, as have 29.2% of residents in Palos Verdes Estates and 27.8% in Rancho Palos Verdes.

About 20.9% of residents in Torrance, the South Bay’s largest city, have received shots.

By comparison, only 7.3% of residents in predominantly Latino Lennox have received vaccinations, the lowest figure in the South Bay. The only other South Bay communities with vaccination rates in the single digits are Wilmington at 9.6% and Lawndale with 9.9%.

Still, about half of all seniors 65 and over in the county have received at least one dose of vaccine, Simon said.

“We are moving pretty quickly through that group,” he said. “Although, as we showed on the map, there are incredible disparities — really disturbing disparities — and we are really thinking hard about what we can do to fix those disparities.”

Simon has urged patience for the “somewhat slow process” of rolling out vaccines in the county.

County figures, which are updated weekly, show just how slow that progress has been.

For example, between Feb. 14 and Feb. 20, just 2,590 Carson residents received vaccinations. That brought the total number of inoculations in a city with a population of more than 75,000 to just 15,806.

About 269,000 inoculations will be administered this week across 341 sites in the county, a figure that’s far below the available 500,000 a week combined capacity of the sites due to vaccine shortages, Simon said.

In addition, about 1 million more county residents — workers in food services, agriculture, education and child care — became eligible to receive vaccinations as of Monday, March 1 for the first time.

“It will take considerable time to vaccinate these groups unless vaccine supplies greatly increase,” Simon said, adding he remained hopeful help is on the way in the form of the one shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine approved by the U.S. over the weekend.

“With easier storage and handling requirements and a potential (new) influx of supply,” he said, “this vaccine could greatly accelerate our progress in our vaccination efforts,” he said.

  • South Bay community coronavirus vaccination rates through Feb. 20:
  • Carson 21%
  • El Segundo 16.1%
  • Gardena 18.2%
  • Hawthorne 11.2%
  • Hermosa Beach 18.4%
  • Inglewood 11.2%
  • Harbor City 15.1%
  • Harbor Gateway 11.6%
  • Lawndale 9.9%
  • Lomita 16.7%
  • Manhattan Beach 24.2%
  • Palos Verdes Estates 29.2%
  • Rancho Palos Verdes 27.8%
  • Redondo Beach 18.7%
  • Rolling Hills 30%
  • Rolling Hills Estates 31.2%
  • San Pedro 14.6%
  • Torrance 20.9%
  • West Carson 21.7%
  • Wilmington 9.6%

Contact Lisa Jacobs lisa.jacobs@TBRnews.com or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

Load comments