Minority community leaders praise Newsom for plan to set aside vaccines for high-risk areas

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday a plan to set aside 40% of the state's vaccine doses for communities hit hardest by COVID-19. The rate of infection is much higher in lower-class households but the vaccine is not making it there. There's a hope that that will now change.

"We are on our way and the governor has just given us a boost and a good shot in the arm so to speak," says Reverend Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco NAACP chapter.

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"We're the most diverse state and the world's most diverse democracy and we're falling short even with best intentions. All the good work we've done and all the announcements in the last couple of months, we're falling short particularly for our Black and Brown communities," said Governor Newsom during an interview with ABC on Thursday.

The governor's office says that the rate of COVID-19 infections in households making less than $40,000 per year is more than double of those households making more than $120,000 a year. Going on to say the wealthy populations are getting vaccinated at twice the rate of vulnerable ones.

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Eduardo Garcia represents the Latino Community Foundation and says that in Alameda County just 9.3 % of doses have gone to Latinos. With a supply that will now be there, they are hopeful to educate the community on the benefits.

"The vaccine is free, you do not need to be a U.S. citizen, and the side effects are very mild," says Garcia.

Reverend Brown is 80 years old and says people were initially skeptical of the polio vaccine when he was a boy. Brown has gotten the COVID-19 vaccine along with his wife, and his 103-year-old mother.

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"No fever, no chills, nothing and we must not hype up the negativity we must accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative," says Rev. Brown.

Brown says they are in the process of setting up vaccination clinics at Baptist churches from San Francisco all the way down to Los Angeles. Those should be ready to open in the next couple of weeks.

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