Photo Jae Hong / EPA
Photo Jae Hong / EPA

As the first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine arrive in California, officials are facing intense pressure to prioritize vulnerable communities and promote equity and racial justice in the state’s distribution scheme.

Historically marginalized groups that have been ravaged by the virus and their advocates are pushing for urgent vaccine access, including farm workers in the Central Valley, undocumented laborers in the meatpacking industry, incarcerated people in overcrowded prisons and indigenous communities in remote regions.

In deciding who gets access to the limited supplies of the life-saving vaccine in the coming months, the most populous and diverse state in the country will have to answer thorny questions about what work is “essential” and how the government should address the pandemic’s systemic inequalities and historical injustices amid the virus’ deadliest surge yet.

“This is a hard question, because you’re essentially asking whose lives matter the most,” said Janel Bailey, co-director of the Los Angeles Black Worker Center, which has helped provide Covid testing in hard-hit Black neighborhoods.

Read the full story in The Guardian | US News.

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