The end of a calendar year provides an opportunity to look back and reflect on the past 12 months. One year ago this week, we were celebrating the introduction of vaccines to fight COVID-19. We were sure the end of the pandemic was near.
2021 has dealt us all a reality check in fighting this virus. Variants like Delta and Omicron have complicated the battle. Vaccine hesitancy and worse, misinformation, have kept many people from getting vaccinated, the best tool we have in the fight against COVID-19.
Nevertheless, we at BCHD have worked diligently throughout 2021 to help our community combat COVID-19. I am continually amazed at this organization’s ability to pivot to serve the community and all we’ve been able to learn and accomplish during the most difficult health challenge of our time: Delivering accurate health guidance through our web site and social media channels; providing more than 160,000 COVID-19 tests; hosting vaccine clinics for adults, teens and most recently, kids ages 5-11 at schools in the Beach Cities over the last five weeks.
All told, the BCHD team administered more than 16,800 doses to people age 12 and older and more than 6,200 doses for children ages 5-11. More than 85% of Beach Cities residents age 5 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Our staff and volunteers have learned many new tasks during the pandemic and have worked diligently to provide COVID-19 services to our community. They have set up test sites and vaccine clinics, handled logistics like ordering personal protective equipment, gloves, tents and more, worked with L.A. County Department of Public Health and Fulgent to obtain test kits and have them delivered to diagnostic laboratories, made phone calls to persons who tested positive for the virus and conducted contact tracing, procured refrigeration units to store vaccines, and provided vaccines, information and giveaways for children who received the vaccine.
Just as I wrote a year ago, there is still much to be done before we can declare the pandemic “over.” We will continue to promote vaccines as the safest way to protect our community and residents, while continuing to provide updated health information about the virus. We plan to continue testing for the next six months, enabling high school staff and students to participate in their activities
As we downshift over the holidays, let’s remember what we were going through a year ago; let’s celebrate what we’ve been able to accomplish; and let’s prepare to move on to the next phase and the new challenges that will no doubt come our way.
Best wishes to you and yours during the holidays, and here’s to a happy and safe 2022!