By Matthew Rodriguez
Pasadena Weekly Deputy Director

Pasadena will require proof of vaccination for outdoor mega events — defined as events with more than 10,000 attendees — such as events at the Rose Bowl, as well as the indoor portions of bars, breweries, nightclubs and lounges.

The order comes as officials prepare for the fall and winter seasons. Last year, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surged to extremely high levels during the fall and winter seasons.

“Now is the time to take steps to protect our community from the kind of devastating illness and loss we experienced in the fall and winter of last year,” Pasadena health officer Dr. Ying-Ying Goh said.

The change in the health order will require eligible customers and employees, people 12 and older, at outdoor mega events and indoor portions of bars, breweries, nightclubs and lounges to receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 7 and be fully vaccinated by Nov. 4. Unvaccinated patrons and employees must provide a negative test within 72 hours before entering those facilities.

Goh stated that self-attestation will not be accepted as a method of verification of vaccination or a negative test result. Goh also said that the Public Health Department will provide technical assistance to venues and organizers.

Restaurants are not required to follow the new health mandate, but the city strongly recommends they take the same precautions for indoor dining.

The plan follows guidelines set forth by the Los Angeles County and President Joe Biden’s Path Out of the Pandemic plan.

“This order matches LA County’s order that was issued a week or so ago,” Goh said. “These orders address gatherings that are very high risk for COVID-19 transmission. … All of these activities bring people together — sometimes from states and countries with COVID- 19 rates much higher than Pasadena.”

Goh added that bars and nightclubs are “extremely risky” for transmission indoors. She also recommended residents ensure that they are taking necessary precautions to keep themselves and their families safe. She also advocated for eligible residents to get vaccinated.

“We continue to see rates of infection 3-4 times higher for unvaccinated people than for vaccinated people,” Goh said. “We do see half of our daily new cases among vaccinated people, as we have during this delta surge, but extremely few hospitalizations or deaths among vaccinated individuals. It is clear that vaccination protects against severe disease.”

Goh also announced that Pasadena will begin to administer booster shots at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation. Only individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, as the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines await a recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration.

PPHD recommends residents of long-term care facilities, individuals 50 to 64 years old and residents over 65 receive the booster if they received their last shot at least six months ago.

Individuals aged 18 to 49 with underlying medical conditions and people aged 18 to 64 with high institutional or occupational risks may also receive a booster if their last shot was at least six months ago.

“All COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide significant protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death,” Goh said. “However, certain populations are seeing a slight decrease in vaccine effectiveness against infection. In general, booster doses of vaccines are very common. They are a part of most childhood and adult vaccine series to ensure a person maintains optimal immunity against infection from a disease.”

PPHD’s next vaccine clinic will be Tuesday, Oct. 12.