The Imperial County Board of Supervisors approved a letter that will be sent to California Governor Gavin Newsom asking him for additional vaccine allocations.
The recent events in the Imperial County on the demand for vaccination for the senior citizen population prompted the board to ask Governor Newsom for support. The board met in a special session on Jan. 20 to hear an update from the Imperial County Health Department and to approve this letter. The letter was signed by the five county supervisors.
“We are always talking about equity and this letter to the Governor is to ask the State to help the county. It’s a “help me to help you” action,” said Imperial County CEO Tony Rohoutas.
The letter to Newsom stated the county has been riddled with impacts throughout this current COVID-19 pandemic and has had little relief along the way.
“In addition to the economic, health, and environmental burdens that our population was already suffering from pre-pandemic, it appears that our geographical location provides us with additional an obstacle that only makes a successful outcome even harder to obtain,” the letter read.
The Imperial County Board of Supervisors had joined the rest of California’s counties in expressing their commitment to drastically improving the state’s vaccination rate. The county hopes to witness an efficient and safe rollout of the vaccine across the nation to improve the outcome of the people they serve.
“However, the equity and distribution of the vaccine do not seem to meet the needs of Imperial County, nor your expressed original intent of prioritizing communities hardest hit by this pandemic.
We are sure that we do not stand alone in this sentiment and you have heard this same dialogue across this vast state of 44 million. Still, we feel it’s imperative to remind you that, along with other burdens and challenges previously mentioned, Imperial County has only two hospitals for this large landmass County and not nearly enough health care providers located locally,” the letter explained.
Imperial County agrees with the shift Governor Newsom made recently to allocate a great number of vaccines to those in dire need, especially the elderly that are 65 or older. While the county applauds this approach and needs to assist those in their elder years, the County has been left with no options other than telling them to wait since they don’t have a sufficient amount of supplies.
“This brings forth extremely conflicted moral and ethical viewpoints of many throughout the communities and makes one wonder how socially equitable this plan is. Especially when you have thousands of elderly waiting in lines during frigid temperatures and large gatherings points to obtain only a few thousand vaccinations.