Councilman Herb Wesson today filed a motion calling for Los Angeles to develop a plan to prioritize COVID-19 vaccines for communities of color, high-risk populations, children, homeless people and workers deemed essential, once a vaccine is developed.
“We’ve honored these essential workers by clapping on our doorsteps and Thunderbird flyovers, but that’s not enough,” Wesson said. “The systemic economic and racial inequality has become clearer than ever during this crisis. We’ve seen our country’s inequality at play when the testing first began and wealthier communities received access before poorer communities of color.”
When a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, effective allocation and administration of it will be critical to reducing the spread of the virus throughout communities, particularly the communities of color that have been hardest hit by the virus, Wesson said.
Although the goal of any vaccine is to immunize everyone who chooses to use it, the initial supply may not be sufficient to accomplish that goal, Wesson said.
The motion asks Los Angeles to begin developing guidelines now to ensure vulnerable and high-risk communities have first access to a COVID-19 vaccine. Wesson said some of the city’s less-affluent areas have reported eight times the number of people contracting the virus than areas with higher incomes.
If approved, the motion would instruct the Emergency Management Department to work with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to coordinate and develop a vaccination plan.