Mystery Emerges Among COVID-19 Patterns In Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES, CA — While unvaccinated people continue to become infected, hospitalized and killed by the coronavirus at dramatically higher rates, a peculiar pattern is developing in Los Angeles County that has health officials puzzling for an explanation.

During a two-week period ending Nov. 6, several of the Los Angeles County communities with the highest rates of coronavirus cases are also communities that have higher than average vaccination rates. Authorities aren't quite sure why that would be. Differences in behavior or waning immunity from vaccines may be factors. People in those communities may also have lower levels of natural immunity due to historically low levels of coronavirus exposure.

Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said authorities are trying to examine what factors are in play in individual communities that have above-average vaccination rates but still had among the highest new-case rates. One common denominator appears to be age. Younger people are driving this pandemic, Ferrer said.