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LA's Homeless Population Became Eligible For The COVID Vaccine Last Week — And Infections Are Already Down

76-year-old Ray Carrington receives his first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the Midnight Mission. (Zoie Matthew/LAist)
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It has been only a week since individuals experiencing homelessness became eligible for vaccination in Los Angeles County and officials are already reporting a sharp decline in infections among the unhoused population — from 620 per week in late December 2020 to 58 this past week.

L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis says that the county is working to make sure unhoused individuals don't slip through the cracks:

"The Department of Health services has providers that go out into the field and go to shelters as well as go to encampments to do assessments and provide some healthcare services... and that will continue."

The question of when L.A.'s homeless population would become eligible for the vaccine and why it hadn't happened sooner has been an ongoing issue.
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Homeless individuals who contract COVID-19 in L.A. County are 50% more likely to die than those in the general population, reports the L.A. Times. Nationally that number is 30%.

The drop in cases among people experiencing homelessness mirrors an overall decline in coronavirus cases. Following a major surge in November and December 2020, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations have dropped countywide since early this year.


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