LONG BEACH, Calif. – Jan. 27, 2021 – The City of Long Beach’s Health Department and MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center announced today that an additional vaccine clinic has opened to assist with the more than 50,000 Long Beach residents who have enrolled through VaxLB – the vaccine portal recently created by the City. The new vaccine clinic was piloted early this week, vaccinating more than 900 seniors, with the hopes of increasing the number vaccinated each day by the end of this week.
The move came when the City and Long Beach Medical Center came together through a mutual goal of vaccinating the residents of Long Beach safely, quickly and equitably. The City already had the program, enrollment and scheduling capabilities through VaxLB; and Long Beach Medical Center had already set up a clinic for front-line staff and has the greatest ease of storing the Pfizer vaccine — which needs to be stored at ultra-low temperatures. In addition, the hospital had already vaccinated the majority of its staff and healthcare workers throughout the community who were interested in the vaccine.
“As we started to get through the administration of the second round of vaccine to our staff we thought, as one of the largest healthcare organizations in the community, what else can we do to help our City and its residents,” says Ike Mmeje, COO, Long Beach Medical Center. “We believe in operating through servant leadership – we looked around, and already had the vaccination clinic infrastructure in place from phase 1A and felt we absolutely should extend our resources — we knew there was more we could do for our community.”
Long Beach Medical Center and the City were able to get the programming, scheduling and enrollment connected in less than 48 hours. The City is currently working through its waiting list of more than 16,000 seniors and soon after will continue to use this site as the City needs to extend through for phase 1B, Tier 1 and beyond.
“The vaccine work we are able to do as a city is directly tied to the greatness of our Long Beach area hospitals,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “Long Beach Medical Center is central in our work and their support will help us get our most vulnerable communities vaccinated more quickly.”
Yesterday, the City of Long Beach became the first city in L.A. County to vaccinate educators and have moved quickly to get vaccinations out to its older adults, emergency response teams and food service workers.
“It’s been inspiring to me how the City, Health Department and the community have come together during this strenuous year,” says Mmeje. “I’m a Long Beach transplant, and lived in the Bay Area for many years, but nothing has said community to me like Long Beach has. We will get through this together.”
About MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center:
MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center has been providing the community with compassionate, quality health care for more than 100 years. While leading in specialized care, research and education, Long Beach Medical Center uses the most advanced health care technologies – it is the only hospital in L.A. County with the innovative ExactechGPS® and ExcelsiusGPS® surgical systems. Long Beach Medical Center is ranked no. 7 in the Los Angeles Metro Area by U.S. News & World Report and has earned Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence. With leading centers for cancer, heart, rehabilitation, orthopedics, neurology and trauma, physicians and surrounding hospitals continually refer to its accredited programs. For more information, visit memorialcare.org/LongBeach.