California among the worst states on COVID-19 vaccine equity, according to CDC

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- More than 24% of Californians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far. But when it comes to vaccine equity, California is among the worst states, according to the CDC.

Out of 48 states on the CDC's list, California ranked number 44.

RELATED: SF's hard hit neighborhoods left out of CA's COVID-19 vaccine equity plan

"I'm not super surprised," said Jon Jacobo, Health Committee Chair of the Latino Task Force.

To target vaccine equity, Governor Gavin Newsom changed the state's distribution strategy several weeks ago, allocating 40% of all vaccine doses to zip codes in the most vulnerable areas of the states.

"We didn't take the baseline, it's the increment that I know has created a little stress, but we are in a scarcity frame," said Gov. Newsom.

VIDEO: Newsom says in less than 6 weeks all Californians can access vaccine
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The COVID-19 vaccine could be available to all Californians very soon. Friday Governor Gavin Newsom announced vaccine accessibility will be expanded to all California's before the end of April.

Last week, Gov. Newsom announced the tiered eligibility system is expected to end in five weeks, and vaccines will be available for all Californians.

But Assemblymember David Chiu says the 40% equity strategy doesn't work for the entire state.

"In the Bay Area it's meant that even though we represent 20% of the population the formula only would allow for 2% of these vaccines to go to our population which we think is problematic at best and frankly a bit unfair," said Assemblymember Chiu.

RELATED: Vaccine distribution not equitable for Blacks, Latinos in California, preliminary data shows

20 legislators signed a letter urging the state to change this strategy pointing to Southern California getting priority.

Luz Pena: "What are you and other assembly members hoping to achieve with this letter?"

David Chiu: "We suggested a different way of going about this which is to focus on census tracks. There have been a couple of meetings with the governor's office, the conversation is ongoing."

The Mission District is one of San Francisco's COVID-19 hotspots that wasn't prioritized by the state. Community members say they couldn't wait on the state and now are opening a second vaccination hub with the city and UCSF's partnership.

"The beginning of this week we are doing a walk-through for a potential second site, and already eyeing some additional sites to be able to bring vaccines to the community in a low barrier fashion," said Jacobo.

In the Tenderloin, another COVID-19 hotspot, Supervisor Matt Haney announced a mobile vaccination effort is in the works set to launch next Thursday.

RELATED: Look at Bay Area ZIP codes receiving extra vaccines under state's new equity plan
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There are exactly three zip codes on the state's list in Alameda County, all of them in East Oakland. By targeting the areas most impacted by the pandemic, state officials hope to slow the spread of COVID19 and speed up the reopening of the economy.

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