Letters to the Editor: The white privilege that’s undermining vaccine equity

People wait in the standby line to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at Kedren Community Health Center in South Los Angeles.
People wait in the standby line to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at Kedren Community Health Center in South Los Angeles on Jan. 22.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I am steaming mad. I can’t get a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for my 81-year-old mother or my 66-year-old Native American boyfriend. I am 61, white and perfectly willing and able to wait my turn for a shot. (“How a South L.A. doctor is beating the system and distributing vaccines equitably,” Jan. 29)

I grew up poor in a hardworking blue-collar family, and I am deeply angry at and ashamed of those entitled white people driving their nice cars into South Los Angeles and waiting outside Kedren Community Health Center with their laptops and portable chairs looking for shots that are intended for the hardworking people of color, including many elderly and essential workers, who live in that neighborhood.

How dare you? Is it because you have never had to go without that you think you have a right to step to the front of the line? Or is your sense of white privilege so powerful that you just don’t care?


I would disown my children if they behaved that way.

Kim Barlow, Fullerton


To the editor: Kudos to The Times for making visible the racial disparities in vaccine access and for calling out vaccine vultures.

Our city and county honchos would be wise to direct supplies, technology and dollars to innovators such as Dr. Abraham at Kedren Community Health Center. Such community-based institutions know their people better than City Hall or the county government.

My fervent hope is that the latter listens to the former and follows their advice.

Sarah S. Forth, Los Angeles


To the editor: Erika D. Smith’s column is a disappointing example of racial profiling, tribal warfare and lashing out.

“Dozens of young, mostly white people in yoga pants and beanies who lounge on beach chairs and blankets on the sidewalk every day” wait to get leftover COVID-19 shots. So? They are not taking a vaccine from anybody. They are waiting in line.


And yet they bother Dr. Abraham a great deal. This kind of attitude just pits people against each other.

I say follow the priorities set by local government, get as many vaccines administered as you can, and don’t waste your time being angry at people who obtain doses that were about to go to waste.

Serge Dubovitsky, Los Angeles