SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – The new vaccine distribution plan announced last week by the governor is designed so those shots reach people in the poorest zip codes in the state.
Bay Area lawmakers say the solution leaves other Bay Area residents out in the cold. They’re calling for changes.
In an effort to get vaccines into the arms of those in communities hardest hit by COVID-19, last Thursday the governor announced that 40% of all vaccines in the state would be funneled to those living in the poorest zip codes.
“We are doing something that is necessary not just to do the right thing for communities that have been disproportionally impacted but also to safely reopen the economy,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
“The Bay Area Legislative Caucus is trying to get the governor to make an adjustment because every day could be a life or death situation for somebody,” State Senator Dave Cortese, D-San Jose, said.
State Senator Dave Cortese says because many zip codes in the Bay Area are mixed with both the rich and the poor, only 2-percent of bay area residents will benefit from this so-called equity plan.
“We don’t segregate the wealthy from the poor in the Bay Area and we think that’s a model for the rest of the country yet we are being pushed for that with the index they are using. The Bay Area Legislative Caucus is trying to get the governor to make an adjustment because every day could be a life or death situation for somebody,” Cortese said.
Cortese and more than a dozen other Bay Area state senators and state assembly members have sent this letter to State Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly asking for an adjustment.
“Come back in and backfill the holes, the areas you left out, it’s a modest amount in the Bay Area but its an important set of neighborhoods, it’s East Palo Alto, it’s the Mission, its certain areas in East San Jose, King and Story, and some other areas,” Cortese said.
Cortese says he is not trying to rob Peter to pay Paul, but with the Bay Area accounting for 20% of the state’s population it’s the Bay Area that’s getting robbed and it needs to be corrected.