LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District, released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors approved her motion to ensure an equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Los Angeles County’s most vulnerable communities.
“The data is clear – Black, Latinx, and Native populations have experienced a higher number of cases of COVID-19 making these populations susceptible to short and long-term health issues and are being vaccinated at a lower rate than any other population.
This is unacceptable and a clear indicator that more needs to be done to meet the immediate needs of the communities most impacted. We must do more to address the health inequities that existed prior to and were exacerbated by the pandemic. This starts by prioritizing access to the vaccine among those most impacted including our Black, Latinx and Native communities. This includes understanding the cultural barriers that prevent these groups from accessing the vaccine including language, geography and vaccine hesitation based on the historical treatment of communities of color in the medical field.
With this motion, we have an opportunity to address the concerns and hesitations of our communities by meeting them where they are – by partnering with their local faith-based organizations, pharmacies, and community-based organizations we can work to dispel vaccine hesitation and help increase access to the vaccine among communities most in need.
We must ensure that all people in Los Angeles County, regardless of race, language, documentation status, income, or zip code, can get vaccinated if we hope to ever achieve a truly healthy Los Angeles.”
The passage of today’s motion directs the County’s Department of Public Health to work with stakeholders to utilize metrics including language and race in planning for vaccination distribution, as well as increase allocation, to the extent feasible given supply constraints and state/federal requirements, to trusted partners who work with the most vulnerable populations.
The motion calls for the creation an effective communications strategy, in partnership with trusted community-based organizations, to address and try to overcome misinformation, vaccine refusal, and/or vaccine hesitancy in communities with insufficient vaccination rates once supply allows, and for the County’s Department of Public Health to provide a training for organizations to assist in registering residents for vaccine appointments.
To view the motion, click here.
CONTACT: Kimberly Ortega, Acting Communications Director, (213) 361-6435 or KOrtega@bos.lacounty.gov