LOS ANGELES—Months before a Covid-19 vaccine was approved for use in the U.S., California was planning how to get it to the communities hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, including racial minorities.
Two months into the vaccine rollout, those efforts are failing.
Black and Latino Californians collectively account for 59% of the state’s reported Covid-19 infections, but make up 19% of those who have been vaccinated. By contrast, white residents account for 20% of infections and 33% of vaccine recipients.
Hoping to speed and simplify the distributions of shots, the state overhauled its vaccine system last month, scrapping its original plan, which would have given priority to essential workers in many industries. For now, only seniors over 65 years old, healthcare workers and long-term-care residents and staff are eligible in most parts of the state.
The pace of vaccinations has picked up since the changes were announced: California has risen from 45th in the country in vaccine doses administered per capita a month ago to 31st now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.