As California Opens Vaccine Eligibility, We Must Remain Committed Equity Goals

Author Details

Monika Lee

Senior Communications Manager
(858) 353-7271
Organization: California Pan-Ethnic Health Network

The California Pan-Ethnic Heath Network 
For Immediate Release 
March 25, 2021 
Contact: Monika Lee (858) 353-7271 

Sacramento, CA – Today, Governor Newsom announced that all those age 50 and older will be eligible for vaccination starting April 1st, and all those age 16 and older will be eligible starting April 15th. The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, a statewide health advocacy organization dedicated to addressing racial and ethnic health disparities, and member of the Community Vaccine Advisory Committee, released the following statement.  

“After collectively living through this pandemic for over a year, the anticipation of sufficient vaccine for all Californians within the next three months is uplifting. The vaccine is our key tool to protect ourselves and our communities from the virus and safely reopen our schools and our economy. We encourage all Californians to get the vaccine that is available to you as soon as you are eligible. 

At the same time, we must double down on our commitment to equity. 40% of COVID-19 cases and deaths have occurred in the neighborhoods that shoulder the greatest burden of structural racism and economic inequality. Yet, the most recent California Department of Public Health vaccination data continues to show inequitable distribution and administration. Black and Latinx Californians are still being vaccinated at a rate only half their share of the state population. Twice as many Californians in most affluent areas of the state have been fully vaccinated as those in the most impoverished areas of the state. 

We applaud Governor Newsom for convening advocates and implementing the recommendations of the Community Vaccine Advisory Committee by directing vaccine doses to our most impacted communities and leveraging the trust and expertise of diverse community-based organizations and community leaders. We urge the Governor and California’s counties to commit resources, including the significant federal dollars coming to the California as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act, to building the infrastructure necessary for an equitable vaccination effort and to alleviating the health disparities evident throughout our communities. Much more must be done to end this pandemic and to ensure that we leave no one behind.”