Report: Affluent LA crowd snatching up vaccines meant for California's Black, Latino communities

By KCBS Radio

A well-intentioned program attempting to improve coronavirus vaccine distribution among the state’s hardest-hit communities of color is being manipulated, apparently by others in wealthier areas reserving appointments of their own.

The program utilizes special access codes for Black and Latino communities to make appointments on California’s MyTurn website. As first reported by the Los Angeles Times, the codes "have been circulating, in group texts and messages, among the wealthier, work-from-home set in Los Angeles."

Those taking advantage of the codes were able to make appointments at Cal State Los Angeles.

It's not known if the codes were improperly used elsewhere in the state.

After the paper asked about the issue last week, the state canceled appointments made under at least one of the special access codes. It was not immediately clear how the codes were made available to wealthier groups.

Roughly 2,000 community-based groups are taking part in the program.

"Three separate access codes intended for vulnerable populations in Los Angeles strayed far from their intended recipients, making their way into more affluent professional and social networks," the paper reported.

The governor visited vaccine distribution clinics over the weekend in Inglewood and Boyle Heights as part of an ongoing effort to spotlight California’s equitable efforts for so-called "hard-to-reach communities."