Marin Co. has highest vaccination rate in CA with 90% of eligible residents fully vaccinated

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Marin County has reached a milestone. 97 percent of this county's eligible residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 90 percent are fully vaccinated, but the milestones don't stop here.

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"Some of the lowest case rates in the state. Some of the lowest hospitalizations rates and mortality rates," said Dr. Mat Willis, Public Health Office for Marin County.

Dr. Willis says consistency and gaining the communities trust was key.

Luz: "What has been your strategy for Marin County to get to this point?"

Dr. Willis: "It's really been a combination of a variety of different strategies. Making sure that people who traditionally are marginalize had access to vaccines in that environment of limited supply."

"Our key assets for us is regular communication with all of our health care providers," he continued. "Another key strategy has been simplifying the process as much as possible."

Dr. Willis is also attributing this milestone to mobile vaccination teams and community leaders from the African American and Latino communities doing the ground work.

"We mobilized, we did what we did last year to prepare for the vaccination phase," said Omar Carrera, CEO of Canal Alliance.

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Eighty percent of COVID cases in Marin County were coming from low income communities. The main hot spot was the Canal neighborhood. That's when Marin County's public health department began to partner with nonprofits like Canal Alliance for COVID testing back in 2020 and now vaccinating the community.

"We block a street here next to the Canal Alliance and the mobile unit comes. We have community leaders and Canal Alliance staff registering people for the vaccine and helping them go through that process."

A strong relationship that has led Marin County to this milestone and to prioritized the most affected by the pandemic.

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"We see now that some of our highest vaccination rates are actually in our historically marginalize communities. Our highest rates are among our Latinx residents 98% of our Latinx residents are vaccinated in Marin," said Dr. Willis.

Omar Carrera believes this partnership will have lasting impacts throughout the county event after the pandemic, but her wishes it could've happen earlier.

"The painful thing is that we needed to wait for the pandemic to learn how to work together," said Carrera and added, "We knew that the county was not going to be able to reopen and the schools where not going to be able to reopen unless the Latino community was taken care of and that is why we mobilized. Since last year 2020 we really have a great partnership with the public health department."

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