During Tuesday’s board meeting, Supervisor Kathryn Barger asked Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer or an update on increasing vaccine access in the Antelope Valley.
“Representing the Antelope Valley, I am determined that this region receive ample COVID-19 vaccine supply – along with the necessary resources to help local residents access vaccine distribution sites,” Barger said.
“This is in line with the commitment by the Board of Supervisors to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine in Los Angeles County’s hardest hit communities. However, unlike other parts of the County, the Northern region is impacted by its rural geographic makeup and the lack of easily accessible transportation options. There is no more time to waste. We must commit to transparency and accountability in serving our residents throughout the Antelope Valley,” Barger said.
As part of this effort, Barger is asking the Department of Public Health to work with FEMA to establish mobile sites for the Antelope Valley within the next two weeks. Barger has also asked that DPH consider additional options to vastly increase vaccine distribution in the North County region. This includes working with Kaiser to open a site in March; creating a new L.A. County Point of Distribution (POD) site in the Antelope Valley; and / or increasing the allocation of doses among community vaccination sites. DPH reported additional collaborations such as Antelope Valley Hospital’s plan to begin vaccinating local teachers.
During the meeting, Supervisor Barger also inquired about the process for determining vaccine allocations among sites. “Sadly, we know that our most vulnerable communities have experienced the harshest effects of this virus, making these vaccination efforts even more critically important,” Supervisor Barger said. “Knowing that the Antelope Valley has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the County, we must do more for these residents, and we must do so immediately.”