LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A major overhaul in the way California distributes COVID-19 vaccines was underway Tuesday, as state officials seek to have more control over how doses are distributed.
The new system would bring in a third-party to take over the ordering and distribution of the vaccines, ending the current system with each county and hospital system running its own delivery.READ MORE: LA County To Expand Access To Coronavirus Vaccine To More Essential Workers Starting Monday
But this was not the only change announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom who said Monday that the state was looking to shift to an age-based vaccination system.
“Using an age-based framework helps us get there, but also recognizing that the targeted outreach, that allocation formula and opportunity helps us reach other populations, not just on age, but on exposure, to ensure that those populations are taken care of,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services secretary, said Tuesday.
But not everyone was happy with the upcoming shift, including SEIU Vice President Sandra Diaz.
“We are incredibly disappointed by the announcement that the governor made,” she said.
Diaz’s union represents workers at hotels, airports and state prisons — a population that was supposed to be next in line.
“We have crowded households with most of these households having essential workers,” she said. “And so how do we deal with the spread of a pandemic? How do we deal with public safety?”READ MORE: Meet The Giltinis: LA's New Rugby Team to Open Play At Coliseum March 20
“You have to try and simplify things as much as you possibly can, [while] trying to make vaccine distribution equitable,” Dr. Anne Rimoin, director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, said.
She said that prioritizing by age should also mean having locations in which people do not stand in long lines that lack proper physical distancing.
“The risk of severe outcomes, including death, increases with age,” she said.
For 53-year-old Lori Manship and her 78-year-old mom Charlene Masters, delaying their shots to make sure frontline workers were vaccinated first just makes sense.
“If your occupation requires you to be out and about amongst everybody, then yeah, I think you should get to go first,” Manship said.
“But, I’d like to be second in line,” Masters said.MORE NEWS: High Winds Expected To Continue Through Sunday For Parts Of SoCal
Advocates also said that they want to see people with disabilities factored into the framework which has yet to be fully detailed by the governor’s office.