California Dept. of Public Health ramps up community outreach to encourage more AAPIs to get vaccinated
MORE groups in Los Angeles County are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
As of Friday, March 26, gardeners and landscapers, housekeepers, and private child caretakers in LA County who work at least 20 hours a week can now start booking their appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Additionally, LA-based flight crews and airline employees who live in the city can now register for a vaccine appointment.
The announcement comes as California is set to drastically expand vaccine eligibility in April. Starting on April 1, everyone 50 years or old will be able to get vaccinated and starting on April 15, individuals 16 years and older will be granted vaccine access.
LA County — where more than 1.2 million residents have been Covid-positive and more than 23,000 people have died from the virus — is set to receive another 380,000 doses this week. Additionally, tens of thousands of doses will be sent to pharmacies and local health care centers.
“Our calculations suggest if we’re able to get up to 750,000 doses delivered a week, we should be able to work through the adult population certainly by the end of June,” said Dr. Paul Simon, L.A. County Department of Public Health chief science officer. “That’s a goal contingent upon us getting a larger supply of vaccine.”
Simon added that people who will soon become eligible for the vaccine should be patient when booking appointments as officials predict that vaccination slots will fill up quickly. Simon recommends that people wait a week after they’re newly eligible to sign up for an appointment.
According to the California Dept. of Public Health (CDPH), more than 6.1 million people in the state have now been vaccinated.
Restrictions lift in LA and Orange counties
As vaccinations continue to increase and positive COVID-19 cases continue to downtrend, LA and Orange counties will soon lift coronavirus restrictions.
This would move both counties from the red tier to the more flexible orange tier on the state’s color-coded tier system for county re-openings.
Both counties will be able to move into the orange tier as soon as Wednesday, March 31, meaning that movie theaters and restaurants will allow 50% capacity or 200 people (whichever is fewer); in the red tier, these businesses could only operate with 25% capacity.
Grocery stores, hair salons and other personal care services can increase capacity to 75%.
In the orange tier, bars would also be allowed to open with outdoor seating only, and wineries, breweries and distilleries can reopen indoor service with 25% capacity or 100 people.
Places of worship can expand indoor services to 50% capacity and gyms and fitness centers to 25% capacity.
The changes in capacity and economic reopenings are due to the daily average number of coronavirus-related deaths falling by 75% and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 decreasing 52% in LA County.
Despite the major signs of improvement, public health officials still urge the public to practice good judgement and safety protocols: wearing a mask when out of the house, standing 6 feet apart and practicing good hygiene and frequent hand-washing.
“This is due to residents and businesses doing their part and following the safety measures,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of LA County Public Health, said in a briefing this week. “If we wish to maintain these low numbers, it will be essential that each of us not get sloppy and that we continue to follow the protocols.”
A full list of business re-openings and capacity limits could be found on CDPH’s website: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/#county-status
‘Let’s Get to ImmUnity’
Ahead of the expanded vaccine eligibility, the CDPH announced a multi-language new public education campaign as part of California’s Vaccinate All 58 initiative.
The “Let’s Get to ImmUnity” campaign specifically caters to the vast AAPI community across the state to encourage those who may be hesitant to receive the vaccine to make an effort to get immunized.
Additionally, the campaign — which was originally launched in early March and is part of a $40 million effort — seeks to provide “answers and reassurance that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and our greatest tool to end the pandemic,” the CDPH wrote in a press release.
The campaign will be offered in 10 Asian languages and dialects including Tagalog, Cantonese, Hindi, Hmong, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, Punjabi and Vietnamese.
“The API community in California and throughout the country has experienced both unique hardships and disproportionate impacts in some of our communities during this pandemic,” said California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan. “CDPH’s campaign to ensure every resident over age 16 is confident about being vaccinated against COVID-19 is not a one-size fits all approach. The diversity of our public education campaign mirrors the diversity of our state.”