COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Reflects Disparities, Diaz Says

Sonja Diaz, executive director of the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, spoke to NBC News about her personal experiences with the confusing rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in California. Initially, the rollout relied on county and city health departments to distribute the vaccines to eligible populations, a strategy that exacerbated disparities between wealthy areas and vulnerable communities. Affluent regions like San Francisco and Long Beach were able to efficiently vaccinate their first batch of eligible residents, while overburdened communities in Los Angeles struggled due to dwindling supplies. Residents with limited access to technology and the internet have had trouble signing up for appointments, even if they are eligible. Diaz spent hours navigating the Los Angeles County online portal to book appointments for several older relatives who were having trouble with QR code attachments and text codes. “It’s like winning the Lotto or getting the Golden Ticket at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Diaz said.

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