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Racial inequality plagues LA’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts




Los Angeles, CA — Los Angeles County has received more than 1.6 million COVID-19 vaccines, but the fairness of shot distribution continues to plague health officials, including vaccination rates for eligible black residents. Much behind the ethics group in. , According to data released on Friday.

As of mid-February, 5.2% of people who received at least one COVID-19 vaccine were black residents, 33.5% were white, and 23.1% were Latin Americans, according to figures released by the county public health service. did. And 19.1% are Asian.

Only 24% of black residents aged 65 and over are vaccinated at least once, compared to 42.8% of white residents aged 65 and over.

At a virtual briefing on Friday, Dr. Paul Simon, Chief Scientific Officer of the County Health Department, presented a county-wide map highlighting immunization rates for individual communities.

“There is significant inequality in immunization rates across the county, with several pockets near southern Los Angeles, eastern Los Angeles, some areas of the San Gabriel Valley, eastern San Fernando Valley, Antelope Valley, and harbors. Under West Hollywood. “

He admitted that the coverage rate was calculated based on the overall population of each area, not the number of people actually eligible to receive the shot. But despite that limitation, he said, “the findings are deeply concerned and further explain the deep-rooted health inequality that exists in our society.”

According to Simon, the county is planning several steps to address inequality. The county has also booked doses for administration in poorly serviced areas, with a dose of 6,000 to 7,000 booked in South Los Angeles next week and a dose of 1,000 to 2,000 in Antelope Valley. Said.

“These inequality are unreasonable and unacceptable and require new efforts to address them,” Simon said.

The county also plans to book reservation slots on various vaccination sites for residents of poorly serviced areas and will step up efforts to help residents schedule reservations. ..

In the past, mass vaccination sites have been placed, especially in places such as the Inglewood Forums, Downey’s County Education Department, and Pomona Fairplex, making it easier for residents in traditionally underserved areas to be vaccinated. Efforts have been made to ensure that.

However, Simon says, although there aren’t specific numbers, sites like forums manage shots to people in the wealthier areas who have traveled to the area, even though they are targeting the inhabitants of the area. He said it was clear that he was doing it.

“You don’t have to look at the numbers to know. I’ve worked at several mega PODs (distribution points) and it was really impressive,” Simon said. “… It is an observation that many have made that many people vaccinated with these large mega-PODs were not from their neighborhood.”

He said the issue was difficult to address immediately, but when the state’s “My Turn” booking system became the universal standard for booking vaccination slots, local or poorly serviced communities There is a possibility that only time can be secured.

Simon also said the county is working with community leaders to combat the continuation of false information about vaccine safety that may have contributed to lower vaccination rates. It was.

According to the figures provided by Simon, the county, along with 471,162, gave a total of 1,205,738 initial doses of the vaccine. This means that 15.5% of the county’s population over the age of 16 has been vaccinated at least once and 6% has been fully vaccinated.

Simon said there were still problems with the supply of vaccines, but the county site was largely spared from weather-related delivery problems that forced the city of Los Angeles to shut down its vaccination site this week.

Health officials have warned of difficult months in terms of access to vaccines, already by March 1, when essential workers such as teachers, food service workers and law enforcement agencies are targeted for shooting. The crowded booking system is expected to become even more crowded. In mid-March, all people over the age of 16 with a serious underlying illness will be eligible.

Governor Gavin Newsom said on Friday that the state would begin to secure 10% of the total supply of vaccines given to teachers in March as part of efforts to expedite the return to face-to-face lessons.

Simon said he did not anticipate limits that would cause major problems in the county, as health officials planned to allocate a “significant percentage” of teachers and other categories of key workers.

Meanwhile, COVID cases are well above the levels seen before the winter surge that began in November, but continue to decline in the county.

On Thursday, the county reported an additional 153 deaths, Long Beach announced 10 deaths, Pasadena added one, and the total death toll increased to 19,525.

An additional 2,873 cases were confirmed by the county on Thursday, Long Beach reported 83 cases and 22 cases in Pasadena, increasing the cumulative number from the entire pandemic to 1,174,445 cases.

The county has not yet released updated figures for Friday.

Hospital patient numbers continue to decline, and state figures show that as of Friday, a total of 2,498 people were admitted to Los Angeles County, with 760 in the intensive care unit. This is compared to Thursday’s total number of patients at 2,640 and ICU at 808. In early January, more than 8,000 people were hospitalized in the county.

City news service

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