California will now reserve 40% of its COVID-19 vaccine doses for the most disadvantaged populations, who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom announced Thursday.
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“Low-income households, who earn less than $ 40,000 per year, have been affected twice as much as households with incomes over $ 120,000,” Newsom said when announcing the measure at a conference. hurry.
In addition, the vaccination rate of households earning more than $ 120,000 per year is currently double that of the most vulnerable Californians. “This is what we need to correct,” the governor said.
This measure will target areas identified as having the lowest health index in the state, with the objective of vaccinating 400,000 people in the next two weeks.
These vulnerable populations are notably African-American “and even more” Latin-American, specified Gavin Newsom. “In the past year, 55% of people who tested positive for the coronavirus were Latinos, as were 46% of the dead,” he said.
Many of these vulnerable populations work in jobs considered essential, exposed to the public at supermarket checkouts, or alongside dozens of colleagues in warehouses, factories, or on farms. They frequently travel to work by public transport and live in often overcrowded housing, where distancing and isolation are impossible.
“We cannot reopen our economy in a safe way as long as the disease is still there, and we will not succeed unless we come to the aid of communities which are vulnerable to this pandemic”, pleaded the governor.
To date, nearly ten million doses of the vaccine have been administered across California, which has a total population of around 40 million.
After an upsurge in cases and deaths during the winter, the implementation of restrictions on shops and activities, as well as the arrival of vaccines, have significantly reduced the positivity rate and hospitalizations for six weeks. .
Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 3.5 million cases have been officially recorded in California, killing more than 53,000.