Revised Population Estimate Points to High Vaccine Compliance

This week (Aug. 10–16), an additional 20 Malibu residents tested positive for the coronavirus, making Malibu’s total cases 562 since testing began in early 2020. There remained nine deaths attributed to the virus among Malibu residents.

New census data is pointing to a higher-than-expected vaccination rate among residents.

The 2020 U.S. Census numbers are in and Malibu’s population is estimated to have dropped significantly since the last official count in 2010, which could mean Malibu’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is much higher than county data indicates. 

Currently, the population data used by the LA County Department of Public Health is based on estimates from July 2019, when Malibu was thought to have a total population of 11,820, with about three-quarters of those being adults. The latest census estimate puts Malibu’s population at 10,654, down more than 1,100 people. Projections from other sources say the real 2021 population could be fewer than 10,000.

So, when the county states that 60.5 percent of residents ages 12 and up are at least partially vaccinated, that’s based on inflated numbers; Malibu’s real vaccination rate could be closer to three-quarters—75 percent—of eligible residents. 

As of the latest count, 6,928 residents have been at least partially vaccinated—31 more than the previous week. 

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Last week’s numbers showed a leap because the county began disclosing vaccination data for populations ages 12 and up rather than 16 and up; the 250 additional vaccinated residents who appeared in last week’s count were mostly eligible children between the ages of 12 and 16.

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