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Health Highlights: March 4, 2021

By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter

California Targets Vulnerable Neighborhoods for COVID-19 Vaccination

About 40% of California's COVID-19 vaccine doses will be set aside for the most vulnerable neighborhoods in the state, officials said Wednesday.

Many of the neighborhoods are in Los Angeles County and the Central Valley and are considered highly vulnerable based on factors such as income, education, housing and transportation, the Associated Press reported.

Details of the plan for the 400 ZIP codes -- which include about 8 million people eligible for vaccination -- were shared by two officials in the governor's administration on condition of anonymity.

Officials said the 400 ZIP codes have already received about 1.6 million doses, and will reach 2 million in the next week or two, the AP reported.

While race and ethnicity are not explicit factors in designating vaccinations, the 400 ZIP codes overlap heavily with neighborhoods with higher populations of Blacks, Latinos and Asian and Pacific Islanders, officials said.

Community health clinics focused on serving low-income and vulnerable Californians have said they haven't been getting enough doses, the wire service reported.

The changes mark a fresh round of twists in California's vaccination and reopening plans. People age 65 and over, farmworkers, educators and emergency service workers are now also eligible for shots.

Hospitalizations and deaths have dropped in California in recent weeks, with the state's average 2.2% test positivity rate over seven days is a record low, the AP said.

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