SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — Health officials say 40 percent of the state’s vaccine supply will be set aside to target more than 400 priority zip codes in low income neighborhoods where the need is the greatest.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, only about 2 percent of the zip codes will be included. Among them are Oakland’s Fruitvale District, North Richmond and San Francisco’s Tenderloin District and Treasure Island. Not single one is located in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Sonoma or Marin counties.READ MORE: Rising Sea Level Threatens Stinson Beach Neighborhoods
Mobile vaccination units began to visit neighborhoods like South Hayward this weekend. Nearly 1,000 people were inoculated in two days.
“So many people cannot travel to get the shot,” said Jaime Gaines. “I’m formally from San Francisco and there are so many in the outer area that just can’t get it. So coming into the neighborhoods is really, really important.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom said last week when announcing the plan that the state has “to be bolder and we have to go bigger.”
The doses will be spread out among 400 ZIP codes with about 8 million people eligible for shots. Many of the neighborhoods are concentrated in Los Angeles County and the Central Valley. The areas are considered most vulnerable based on metrics such as household income, education level, housing status and access to transportation.
About 1.6 million vaccine doses already have been given to people in those 400 ZIP codes, and the state will hit the 2 million mark in the next week or two, officials said.READ MORE: Kaiser Employees Win $11.5 Million Class-Action, Race-Discrimination Lawsuit
“Unfortunately, because of the history of racism and discrimination in the United States, what we see is that those community resources are not evenly allocated,” said California’s surgeon general, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris. “So we do have to incentivize and pay for performance if we want to get equivalent outcomes in vulnerable communities.”
Some counties aren’t waiting for a state program.
In agriculturally rich areas, Fresno County has set aside vaccines for farmworkers, while the public health agency further south in Riverside County has partnered with an immigrant advocacy group to inoculate farmworkers.
In Santa Clara County, near the San Francisco Bay Area, community leaders called on Newsom last week to prioritize doses for ZIP codes with the highest COVID-19 rates, saying vaccines are going to wealthier people with internet access and time on their hands. Latinos make up a quarter of the county but represent more than half of COVID-19 infections.
“Our message to the governor is simple: Prioritize communities that have been hit the hardest by this pandemic. That would be a commitment to equity,” said Jessica Paz-Cedillos, executive director of the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, which is in one of five Santa Clara County ZIP codes where the infection rate is double the countywide average.MORE NEWS: Bay Area Teams Ready to Welcome Fans But Impact of Fake Vaccination Cards Is Unknown
The plaza in San Jose holds vaccinations two days a week for county residents on a first-come, first-served basis, and people must show proof of age or occupation. Seniors line up well before sunrise, carrying blankets and chairs.