California officials are setting aside 40% of its available coronavirus vaccine doses to distribute to underserved communities severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to reopen the economy sooner.

Across the United States, California has the most number of coronavirus cases, with large disparities among Latinx residents. Across the state, only 17% of all administered doses were given to Latinx, who encompass 55% of the total cases in California.

Vaccinating Underserved Communities

While White residents only account for 20% of cases across the state, they have the largest share of doses at 32%

If officials begin focusing on underserved communities, the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” would most likely change. State officials currently use a four-level, color-coded system to determine the threat of the virus in each region. Vaccination efforts will be based on the risk each area is facing.

California State Governor Gavin Newsom said the plan to distribute 40% of available vaccine doses was a “bolder” and “bigger” version of the past strategy authorities used.

“We will not mark real and demonstrable progress to address the issue of the hardest-hit communities that have been underserved across the spectrum and currently are being underserved in terms of access to vaccinations,” Newsom said during a Thursday press conference.

The Latinx community has suffered the greatest impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, data from the California Public Health showed. Newsom said Latinos accounted for 46% of fatalities relating to the COVID-19 virus across the state, CNN reported.

“This is gonna be stubborn, this is gonna be challenging. But we are doing something that is necessary at this moment. Not only to do the right thing to communities that have been disproportionately impacted, but also to safely reopen our economy,” Newsom said.