San Francisco's hard hit neighborhoods left out of California's COVID-19 vaccine equity plan

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods by COVID-19 in San Francisco did not make the list to get vaccine priority under the new equity plan by the state.

Several San Francisco city officials claim the state had good intentions but missed the mark when choosing over 400 zip codes and leaving out some of the city's COVID hotspots.

"If you look at San Francisco, yes Treasure Island and the Tenderloin need to be prioritized for access and I'm glad these neighborhoods are included but I'm also concerned that some of the other neighborhoods are excluded," said Supervisor Matt Haney.

Supervisor Haney represents the tenderloin and Treasure Island, the only two San Francisco zip codes chosen under the state's new equity plan that is setting aside 40% of the state's vaccine doses for communities hit hardest by COVID-19.

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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.



Left out were some of the city's COVID hotspots, the Mission District and the Bayview.

"Well it's flawed," said Shamann Walton, President of the SF Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Walton represents the Bayview and says state officials need to reevaluate their decision.

"I haven't spoken to the governor directly. I've spoken to Senator Wiener and some of our state leaders and we obviously are going to reach out to the governor's office and let them know that we hope we can change this," said Supervisor Walton.

Overall 10 Bay Area zip codes made the state's priority list compared to over 70 in Los Angeles. Community members claim the state's list did not account for gentrification in places like the Mission District.

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

"By taking whatever metric you're taking as the state you are invisiblizing the pain that has been existing here with positive rates of COVID as high as 14%," said Jon Jacobo with the Latino Task Force.

The state's metric was based on household income, education, and health care in those zip codes. Jacobo says zip codes were not the right format for the Bay Area.

"Use something basic like the Gini coefficient which is how you would measure these kinds of things within neighborhoods. It's something I would have thought the state would've taken into account especially when you overlay that with positivity rates," said Jacobo.

Meanwhile in the Tenderloin, as cases are on the rise, Supervisor Haney hopes the governor's announcements result in a community vaccination hub.

"I hope to see some real action from our county health department to demonstrate how they are going to get these doses that are now being put aside for this neighborhood into the arms of people who live here. So far they haven't been able to do that effectively," said Haney.


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