'We don't have resources': CA lags behind in reporting race, ethnicity COVID-19 vaccination data

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- California claims equity is a top priority, but the state has yet to release any race or ethnicity vaccine data. Five other Bay Area counties are in the same predicament.

Throughout the pandemic the term equity has been brought up many times by city leaders, public health officials, and other political activists.

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"Equity is the call of this moment," said Gov. Gavin Newsom during a Tuesday press conference.

But Francisco Da Costa, a 75-year-old Indian-Asian American, wants proof.

"Those are just words," Da Costa said. "We need to see the data."

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Currently, Sonoma, San Francisco, Solano, Marin, and Napa counties don't have any race and ethnicity data about vaccines distributed.

For Sonoma County, that might change soon.

"We are learning," said Dr. Urmila Shende, with Sonoma County Public Health. "Going forward we will start to have information available.

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Several counties have blamed the state's messy database, while others are waiting for the data to be more complete before publishing.

According to Santa Clara County, the state has thousands of missing records. ABC7 received the following statement before the county published this data on Thursday:

"We are working on a dashboard with this information. The data must be extracted from a State database, and we have identified that there are many thousands of records missing from that database. We are working to try to address the missing data issue before posting the dashboard."

"We need to have a starting point," Da Costa said. "How do we know if we're doing well or not?"

Da Costa is grateful he was able to get the shot at a clinic in San Francisco's Bayview district. But he says his Black and Latino neighbors are struggling.

"We don't have resources," said Lisa Selby. "The access is what's missing."

Selby and her husband Joseph Lane also live in the Bayview. She says some of her neighbors are struggling with the lack of access to technology and nearby transportation.

"Some of us don't know how to work the phone," she said. "It's scary and frustrating."

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A San Francisco-based company has given free 30-minute interactive sessions helping more than 20,000 people get COVID-19 vaccine information, including those who are not experienced online users.

Many other people 65 and older feel the same, according to 89-year-old San Francisco resident Ramon.

"It's tough in certain neighborhoods," he said.

ABC7 brought these issues to Dr. Grant Colfax and the San Francisco Department of Public Health, but the county still hasn't released any race or ethnicity data.

"The data is coming from the state," Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County's Public Health Officer. "So the state actually has the ability to publish that information."

ABC7 asked California's Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly about this.

"We're working on it with our local partners to ensure we have the most accurate data...I'm not exactly sure when we will have this data available. We are working on it," said Ghaly.

Meanwhile, data dashboards are available in San Mateo, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and Alameda counties.

"The completeness of the data by race and ethnicity is pretty good," said Srija Srinivasan, San Mateo County's Deputy Public Health Officer. "Less than 10 percent didn't have race or ethnicity complete, that gives us more confidence in displaying that data."

San Mateo County


As of Thursday night, nearly 70,000 people in tier 1-A were vaccinated in the county.

Contra Costa County


As of Thursday night, more than 145,000 people in tier 1-A were vaccinated in the county.

Alameda County


As of Thursday night, nearly 150,000 people in tier 1-A were vaccinated in the county.

Santa Clara County


As of Thursday night, more than 170,000 doses have been administered in the county to those in tier 1-A.
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