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Latino and Black Californians less likely to have received COVID-19 vaccine

A motorist receives a vaccine.
Staff and volunteers distribute the COVID-19 vaccine in January at the Forum in Inglewood.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Only about one-third of Latino and Black Californians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while majorities of white and Asian American Pacific Islander Californians have, according to a Times analysis.

The Times analysis found that 33% of Latino residents and 34% of Black residents of the state have received at least one dose of vaccine. By contrast, 50% of white residents, 46% of Native American residents and 60% of Asian American Pacific Islander residents have received a dose.

The Times analysis also found that people living in California’s most disadvantaged areas — ranked according to a variety of economic and social indicators — were also less likely to have received a shot.

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Only about 39% of Californians living in the most disadvantaged areas of the state have received at least one shot; by contrast, 62% of residents living in the most advantaged areas have received a shot.

The statewide data also show that the youngest Californian adults have been less likely to receive a shot. While 80% of seniors and 70% of people between 50 and 64 have received a vaccine, 53% of the youngest adults — up to age 49 — have received at least one dose of vaccine.

There are also geographical disparities.

San Diego County and a number of Bay Area counties — including San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Marin — have reported at least 60% of their residents having received at least one dose. L.A. County has reported 49% of its residents receiving at least one dose; and Orange and Ventura counties, 51%. But in Riverside County, only 40% of residents have received at least one dose, and in San Bernardino County, it’s 36%.

Rates in California’s rural north and Central Valley have among the worst vaccination rates; Kern and Kings counties have among the lowest rates in the San Joaquin Valley, with only 33% and 26% having received at least one dose, respectively.

Officials throughout the state are launching new efforts, including more mobile clinics, to make it easier for younger Californians and those in hard-hit communities to get the vaccine.

L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis said the county is working to improve access and is considering ideas such as hosting vaccine clinics in sports venues where young people are already going. Solis also urged role models to speak publicly about the need to get vaccinated, and family members and friends to reach out to their loved ones.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer was upbeat about interest in the vaccine at a clinic Saturday at Eugene A. Obregon Park in predominantly Latino East L.A., and 60% of the people that came in were male.

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“They were bringing their friends, and they were frankly happy to be there and felt like it was important for them to come in and get vaccinated,” Ferrer said. “But we made it a lot easier at that site: You don’t need an appointment, and that site is in the middle of a community that many people can walk to or take a bus to.”

In the Bay Area, Santa Clara County this week is hosting three nights of “student vaccination nights” at Levi’s Stadium, where the 49ers play, providing drop-in vaccine clinics for students 16 to 19 and their families.


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