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California to retain 40% of COVID-19 vaccine for disadvantaged areas to speed up reopening

In a major policy change, California authorities said Wednesday night that they would now release 40 percent of the available COVID-19 vaccines to residents in the most disadvantaged areas in a move designed to slow the spread of coronavirus and speed up the economy.

After approximately 400,000 more doses are administered to people living in California’s worst-affected communities – which could happen within the next two weeks – Governor Gavin Newsum’s administration officials say the state intends to significantly ease the rules. for counties to move beyond the most restrictive level of the coronavirus resumption project in California.

The change comes amid growing evidence that Latin and black communities are lagging behind white and Asian communities in gaining access to the vaccine. This raised concerns in part because these underserved communities were most affected by COVID-1

9. They are home to many important workers who have infected the virus at work and then spread it at home.

But this move adds another change in the release of vaccines in the country, which is marked by a large shortage of supplies. This happens at a time when more people are entitled to immunization.

In a few weeks, the state will recommend that the counties be joined by millions of people with health problems and disabilities. With large amounts of vaccines now in place, there will be less to move on to other groups. Officials hope for a significant increase in vaccine supply in the coming weeks.

Newsom itself foreshadowed the concept during a briefing in Long Beach early Wednesday afternoon, although it did not offer specific details at the time.

“We want to include vaccination levels in the level and that will allow people to move faster through the levels,” he said.

Currently, 1.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine are given to people living in the worst affected communities in the state.in particular, those in the lowest quartile of the California Healthy Places Index, a measure of socioeconomic opportunity that takes into account economic, social, educational, housing, and transportation factors.

Once 2 million doses are administered in these communities, the state will reduce the threshold up to which the county can move beyond the most restrictive purple category of the U.S. four-step, color-coded opening plan. In this category, indoor activities are prohibited or severely restricted in many businesses and public spaces, including dining rooms in restaurants, gyms, museums, zoos, and aquariums.

In Southern California, target communities will include Southern Los Angeles, Eastside, Coreatown, Chinatown, Compton, southeastern Los Angeles County, eastern San Fernando Valley, Santa Ana, and a number of strong Latino communities along Corridor San Bernardine 10 between Pomona.

Administration officials said the quartile consisted of about 400 different zip codes sprinkled across the state, although many were in the Central Valley and Los Angeles County.

The district-level assignment is based on three criteria: average daily case frequencies, adjusted on the basis of the number of tests performed; the degree of positivity in testing; and a health equity indicator designed to ensure that the level of positivity in poorer communities is not significantly worse than the county’s overall figure.

At present, counties typically need to have an adjusted daily coronavirus incidence rate of or less than 7.0 new cases per day per 100,000 people to move from the purple level to the more permissive red level.

Once the state achieves its 2 million dose target, however, counties with up to 10 new cases per day per 100,000 people will become eligible for the red stratum.

The policy change will accelerate the movement in many Southern California counties, allowing them to open their economies earlier. Under the new proposed rules, the counties of LA, Orange and San Bernardino would now be allowed to leave the purple level, while the counties of Riverside, Ventura and San Diego would also be close to ranking.

Per 100,000 residents, Los Angeles County currently has an adjusted daily frequency of 7.2; Orange, 7.6; Coast, 11.3; San Bernardino, 9; San Diego, 10.8 and Ventura, 10.6.

Once a total of 4 million doses are applied to these lower-income communities, government officials will also ease the thresholds for entry into the next levels, the orange and yellow levels. However, they did not specify what these new thresholds will be.

The orange layer will allow sports fans to return to outdoor professional sports facilities and will allow indoor family entertainment centers such as bowling games and escape rooms to open; the yellow level allows large theme parks to reopen.

“Even with these steps, we will still have some of the strongest protections of public health … in the nation,” said an employee of the Newsom administration.

Administration officials have confirmed that the previously announced share of special doses for teachers – 10% of the weekly distribution in California – will remain in place.

Suppliers across California have administered more than 9.4 million total doses of COVID-19 vaccine to date. Although the state is working to increase how quickly available shots go into arms, tens of millions of residents are still waiting in line.

Along with promoting fairness in the distribution of vaccines in the country, administration officials said the plan discussed Wednesday was pragmatic. Vaccination of those most at risk of becoming victims or vectors of the coronavirus will help prevent its spread. In addition, vaccinating a significant number of people better arms the wider community against widespread use – which means that the thresholds for wider business and public spaces no longer need to be so strict.

Although she said she was unaware of the specifics of the proposal, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday afternoon that she thought it would make sense for vaccinations to play a role in leading the resumption process.

“Once you have vaccinated millions and millions of people, you need to take this into account when determining the safety of various activities,” she said at a briefing on Wednesday. “I think it’s perfectly appropriate. I mean, we’ve said it all along: vaccines are actually a player. But you have to have many, many people getting vaccinated before it matters. “


Government officials are targeting vaccinations against COVID-19 for people living in the lowest quartile of the California Healthy Places index, lower-income places, overcrowded housing and most affected by the pandemic.

(California Health Center)

Lynn reports from San Francisco; Money from Long Beach.

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