California will begin setting aside 40% of all vaccine doses for the state’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. Governor Newsom’s administration announced this Wednesday and explained it’s a new initiative to prioritize vaccinating those most at risk and as a result, hopefully meet the metrics to reopen more of California’s economy.
Officials further explained that these doses will be spread out among 400 zip codes with about 8 million people eligible for shots. Many of the vulnerable neighborhoods are in Los Angeles County and the Central Valley.
“We still have issues in black and brown communities which are completely legitimate and understandable based upon the past, and we're trying to overcome them in the present,” said Newsom.
The areas are considered most vulnerable based on metrics such as household income, education level, housing status and access to transportation. Newsom says they’ll be working closely with local groups and non-profits to make vaccines accessible to people in these communities, a strategy he commended the Coachella Valley for when he visited last month.
“We have 337 community based organizations that the state has contracted with directly to do in language trusted messenger work on the ground to address those barriers in real time,” he said.
Once 2 million vaccine doses are given out in these neighborhoods, the state will make it easier for counties to move through reopening tiers and open more aspects of business and schools. And once 4 million doses have been given out in these neighborhoods, Newsom’s administration says they’ll also revise the metrics for getting into the orange and yellow tiers.