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East Palo Alto Edition: March 2, 2021

East Palo Alto Edition

California’s new Blue Shield-run COVID-19 vaccine system starts this week  — CalMatters.

The state’s goal is to scale up from 1.4 to to 4 million immunizations per week. Read more here.

California's vaccine scheduling website is MyTurn.CA.GOV. Those with limited access to the internet, computers, and smartphones can call the California COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255 to schedule vaccine appointments.

This week, local leaders from San Mateo County advocated for a more equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution in East Palo Alto. EPA has the highest number of COVID-19 cases per 10,000 residents in the county for cities with a population over 1,500. However, it has the lowest vaccination rate in San Mateo County, with just over 11 percent of its 29,000 residents vaccinated so far. Read more from Palo Alto Patch.

According to a press release from East Palo Alto City Council member Antonio López,:

"Despite the fact that 1 of out 6 residents have been infected by the virus, the City of East Palo Alto is last in vaccinations in San Mateo County, with a rate of around 10%, a stark contrast to neighboring, more affluent cities like Atherton’s 40%. When we are notified of a shipment of vaccines, it is short notice, two or three days in advance, which does not give our staff ample time to effectively reach out to residents in all the languages they speak. Moreover, it is a tall order to ask our residents to spend hours waiting in line, in a city dozens of miles from theirs. Many work 1 or 2 full-time jobs, or must stay at home to take care of their children who are still in virtual distance-learning."

Find out more in this Palo Alto Online article about the urgent need for East Palo Alto to get vaccine priority.

Click here to see San Mateo County Public Health department's chart of vaccination rates for cities across the county.

The County's Board of Supervisors aims to set up mobile vaccination sites in hard-hit communities including East Palo Alto to ramp up immunizations.

Click the play button above to listen to the live newscast with info & resources in East Palo Alto.

Sonia Narang is the editor and project manager for KALW's Health & Equity series. Before that, she managed elections coverage for the station. Over the past decade, Sonia reported social justice stories from her home state of California and around the globe for PRI's The World radio program, NPR News, The Washington Post's The Lily, and more.
Kevin Vance created a program of folk music for KALW, A Patchwork Quilt, in October 1991. He grew up in Berkeley during the 1960s and '70s and spent his years learning in public schools, community colleges, bookstores, libraries, and non-commercial radio stations, as well as from the people around him. When he's not on the radio, then he's selling books, taking care of his family, listening to music, entering stuff into a computer, or taking a class.