Newsom vows to make changes to vaccine program designed to address inequities after misuse by outsiders

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Firefighter Anthony MacDougall administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Carmen Limeta at a mobile vaccination site at South Park Recreation Center in Los Angeles.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Firefighter Anthony MacDougall administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Carmen Limeta at a mobile vaccination site at South Park Recreation Center in Los Angeles.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday announced that California would be making changes to a program designed to address inequities in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, after a Times report uncovered evidence that outsiders were misusing the program to grab appointments reserved for residents of neighborhoods hit hardest by the pandemic.

“We don’t like to see those abuses,” Newsom said at a news conference in Sacramento.

The program to improve vaccine access in communities of color relies on special codes that enable people to make appointments on the My Turn vaccine scheduling website. The codes are provided to community organizations to distribute to people in largely Black and Latino communities.

But those codes have also been circulating, in group texts and messages, among the wealthier, work-from-home set in Los Angeles who are not yet eligible for the vaccine under state rules. Many of them were younger than 65.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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