COVID vaccine: LA City Council passes motions aimed at equitable distribution

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- The Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed two motions Wednesday with the goal of making Los Angeles' vaccine distribution equitable and inoculating low-income communities of color.

Both motions were introduced by Council President Nury Martinez.

The first one instructs the Chief Legislative Analyst to work with the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Department of General Services to identify city facilities, particularly in higher risk communities and low-income communities of color, that could be used to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.

The second one instructs the Chief Legislative Analyst to:

-- report back to City Council with a strategy for equitable distribution of vaccines with priority given to low-income communities of color and essential workers who are people of color; and

-- report back to City Council with information on Gov. Gavin Newsom's $300 million vaccine budget proposal and how Los Angeles can use that fund on a public outreach campaign for communities of color.

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"Equitable allocation and distribution of the vaccine is critical to Los Angeles, especially to the communities who (bear) the brunt of this outbreak,'' Martinez said in one of the motions. "The purpose of the vaccine is to prevent the spread of the virus but it must be the city of Los Angeles' goal to ensure that the spread stops at the highest risk areas first.

"This includes Black, Latino, (Asian-Pacific Islander), and other communities of color that are home to essential workers.''

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Tuesday that she was concerned about the relatively small number of health care workers being vaccinated in South Central Los Angeles.

While she noted that health care workers get vaccinated at work rather than at home, she said the county is moving aggressively to open up more vaccination sites in that area, including two locations on the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center campus and three Rite Aid pharmacies.

"The one issue that we don't want to have driving low numbers is lack of access,'' Ferrer said.
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