Local community members oppose California's new vaccine rollout plan

Project Islamic Hope and the Coronavirus Community Response System of South Los Angeles held a press conference to voice their concerns about California's new vaccine rollout plan.
SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced updates to California's vaccine rollout plan. The state would move to an age-based system, prioritizing individuals 65 and older.

Project Islamic Hope and the Coronavirus Community Response System of South Los Angeles held a press conference voicing their opposition to the new plan and calling for the governor to reverse it.

"The current methodology that they just recently switched to will prove to be deleterious to frontline workers, specifically those in the African American and Latino communities," said Robert Sausedo, CEO of Community Build.

Community members said the shift by Governor Newsom to distribute the vaccine based on age as opposed to occupational hazard contradicts research.

Cliff Smith, business manager of the Roofers Union Local 36 in Los Angeles said this especially impacts construction workers.

"This jeopardizes the health not only of the members of my union, their families, but the entire community. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of construction workers across Southern California," said Smith. "Our workers, our members have gone to work every single day, this past year through the pandemic. We don't have paid sick leave. If we don't go to work, we don't get paid."

California's Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the new approach will continue to focus on equity.

"Ensuring that we have real-time data of race and ethnicity, zip code community-level data," Ghaly said. "To make sure our efforts are paying off and making adjustments all along the way."

"Just to have that option, I think it'll be a bigger relief and less stress on us knowing the fact that we are next," said Kevin Sosa a case manager for Community Build. "And if we want to we can go ahead and get the vaccine and the fact that he took us off that list. It just puts more stress on us and in this stressful pandemic situation that we're in now."

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