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COVID-19 Vaccines Not Yet Reaching All Communities Who Need Them – Virus Update For Feb. 19, 2021

Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability Co-Executive Director Veronica Garibay, left, and Tania Pacheco-Werner, Co-Director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute and one of the leads of the Fresno County COVID-19 Equity Project.

Early on in the pandemic, the state of California put an emphasis on equity in its pandemic response, requiring specific levels of testing and outreach in disadvantaged census tracts in order for counties to advance through the state’s reopening blueprint.

Now, obstacles to vaccine access have introduced the potential for new disparities, and newly published state data shows what many have feared: that the vaccine isn’t being distributed equitably among racial and ethnic groups.

This week’s COVID update walks through the new state dashboard, featuring excerpts of conversations with Veronica Garibay, Co-Executive Director of the non-profit Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, and Tania Pacheco-Werner, Co-Director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute and one of the leaders of the Fresno County COVID-19 Equity Project.

Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot for Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties (note that some numbers may have changed between the interview and publication):

As of Feb. 18:

As of 1 week previous, Feb. 11:

As of 4 weeks previous, Jan. 21:

  • 2,767 total deaths out of 272,727 total cases
  • 1,371 people hospitalized and 258 in ICUs
  • 284 deaths reported in the last week*
  • 2,434 average cases reported daily in last week
  • *this includes a backlog from December in Kings County that was only added to data dashboard this week

You can always find up-to-date information for your county here.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
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