COVID-19 deaths occurring more in younger, unvaccinated people in Long Beach, health officials say

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A CSULB student receives a first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine during a City of Long Beach Public Health Covid-19 mobile vaccination clinic at the California State University Long Beach (CSULB) campus on Aug. 11, 2021 in Long Beach, California. - Students, staff, and faculty at the California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) system schools will be required to be fully vaccinated in order to attend in-person classes. All teachers in California will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or submit to weekly virus tests, the state's governor announced June 11, as authorities grapple with exploding infection rates. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

A CSULB student receives a first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine during a City of Long Beach Public Health Covid-19 mobile vaccination clinic at the California State University Long Beach (CSULB) campus on Aug. 11, 2021 in Long Beach, California. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

People who die of COVID-19 in Long Beach are now an average of 59 years old, which is 13 years younger than the average age of coronavirus fatalities in March 2020, the city announced Tuesday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of the 989 Long Beach residents who have died due to this terrible pandemic,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “The shift in the average age of fatalities shows the critical need for people — especially young folks who have been our least likely to get vaccinated — to protect themselves and others around them.”

In addition to affecting more young and unvaccinated residents, severe forms of COVID-19 are disproportionately impacting male patients, as 70% of the deaths since July 2021 have been men, according to data compiled by epidemiologists in Long Beach’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Before July, when the city began to see an increase in COVID-19 infections — mostly in unvaccinated people — only 58% of deaths were men, the city added.

“Younger people must be vaccinated not only to protect the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, but also to protect themselves,” city Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis said. “Please wear your mask indoors and get vaccinated if you’re eligible. The life you save may be your own.”

More than 75% of Long Beach residents who are 12 or older are partially vaccinated, and more than 65% of residents are fully vaccinated.

More than 99% of the city’s residents who are at least 65 years old are at least partially vaccinated, while only 60.5% of adults between 18 and 34 years old are partially vaccinated.

To learn more about vaccinations in Long Beach, visit longbeach.gov/vaxlb, call 562-570-4636 or email Covid19Vaccine@longbeach.gov.

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