California Prioritization of Vaccination Excludes Some Severely Impacted Communities

3 mins read

California failed to include San Francisco’s worst-hit neighborhoods by the coronavirus pandemic into the list of priorities for vaccination under the new equity plan state officials released.

While state officials had good intentions when releasing the new guidelines for vaccinations, some San Francisco city officials said limiting the number of priority zip codes left some high-risk cities from getting proper treatment.

Vaccination Prioritization

“If you look at San Francisco, yes, Treasure Island and the Tenderloin need to be prioritized for access, and I’m glad these neighborhoods are included, but I’m also concerned that some of the other neighborhoods are excluded,” Supervisor Matt Haney said.

Only two San Francisco zip codes were included in the new equity plan California officials released, Treasure Island and the Tenderloin area. Under the new protocols, state officials set aside 40% of available vaccine doses across California to the hardest-hit regions by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Well, it’s flawed,” President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisor Shamann Walton said. He represents the Bayview area which was excluded from the state’s equity plan.

“I haven’t spoken to the governor directly. I’ve spoken to Senator Wiener and some of our state leaders, and we obviously are going to reach out to the governor’s office and let them know that we hope we can change this,” Walton said.

While there were 10 Bay Area zip codes included in the equity plan, it paled in comparison to Los Angeles, which had more than 70. Several community members believe state officials did not consider gentrification when making the list of worst-stricken regions.

“By taking whatever metric you’re taking as the state, you are invisiblizing the pain that has been existing here with positive rates of COVID as high as 14%,” Latino Task Force Health Committee Chair Jon Jacobo said.

When making the list, state officials used household income, education, and health care as a metric in deciding which areas would be included. However, Jacobo said the process was not effective when used for the Bay Area.

“Use something basic like the Gini coefficient, which is how you would measure these kinds of things within neighborhoods. It’s something I would have thought the state would’ve taken into account, especially when you overlay that with positivity rates, Jacobo said, ABC7 News reported.

Supervisor Haney, on the other hand, hopes that California State Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement would include a community vaccination hub as COVID-19 cases in the Tenderloin area continue to rise.

“I hope to see some real action from our county health department to demonstrate how they are going to get these doses that are now being put aside for this neighborhood into the arms of people who live here. So far, they haven’t been able to do that effectively,” Haney said.

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.

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