Morning Brief: Racial And Ethnic Inequities Found In Vaccination Rollout
Good morning, L.A.
Amid many other concerns about the coronavirus vaccine rollout in L.A. and California, watchdog groups are becoming increasingly concerned that the inoculations aren’t reaching all residents equally.
California officials aren’t releasing demographic information about who’s received the vaccine, writes Barbara Feder Ostrov, who covers medicine and health policy for CalMatters. But once the current group of eligible people are immunized — a contingent that includes essential workers and those over the age of 65 — the state plans to switch to age-based eligibility.
That switch will remove suggestions to prioritize people with pre-existing conditions and individuals in harder-hit areas, instead lumping them in with everyone in the next age group below 65.
"We feel like our communities are being once again overlooked," said Rhonda Smith, executive director of the California Black Health Network.
In L.A., coronavirus vaccines have already been painfully difficult to secure, largely due to low supply. A significant percentage of new shipments are earmarked for second doses, leaving precious few to begin the inoculation process with new recipients. Plus, many residents have found the process of getting appointments for second doses confusing and slow.
Meanwhile, data from other states is already showing racial disparities with regards to who is receiving the vaccine. For instance, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis, 1.2% of white Pennsylvanians had been vaccinated as of mid-January, compared with 0.3% of Black Pennsylvanians.
Smith notes that the pattern of Black communities being underserved by the medical system is, unfortunately, one she’s grown accustomed to seeing.
“It's nothing new,” she said, “but it's disappointing.”
Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.
What Else You Need To Know Today
- Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has formally announced he's running for governor of California in 2022.
- OC Sheriff Don Barnes is fighting a judge’s order to release or transfer inmates as COVID-19 surges in the county’s jails.
- A new report identifies frontline jobs that offer a living wage, many of which can be done from home.
- There are several tried-and-true strategies for dealing with people who have fallen under the sway of disinformation that’s spreading online.
- A reader from West Hollywood shares how being bused across town as a kid in the ‘60s made her see L.A. as a "place of possibilities."
- Officials will create a protest zone at Dodger Stadium after anti-vaccine demonstrators shut down the site for an hour.
- The Kroger Co. plans to close two stores in Long Beach after a vote mandating temporary “hero pay” for grocery workers.
- Moderna has made significant progress in supplying more vaccines.
- The union representing L.A. County prosecutors is suing to stop justice reform efforts proposed by D.A. George Gascón.
- Some school districts in L.A. County are welcoming limited numbers of students back to campus this week.
- Jamie Tarses, who broke the glass ceiling for female TV executives as the first woman to run a network entertainment division, passed away yesterday morning.
Before You Go …
This week’s from-your-couch activities are exciting. You can listen to Ava DuVernay talk about her ARRAY film initiative, tune in as Hilton Als and Jia Tolentino discuss Joan Didion, explore the LGBTQ history of Boyle Heights, and more.
Or, if all you really need is a good laugh, check out Self-Care Comedy with DeAnne Smith, Sofiya Alexandra, Anna Valenzuela, Christine Little and Sean Keane.
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