March 7, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Readers have little praise for L.A.’s vaccine rollout

Often when I am asked how reader opinions break down on a given issue — pro or con, left or right, angry or pleased — people are surprised when I say that they tend to trend in a certain direction over a period of time, and then swing another way. For example, on Jan. 30, two letters were published that called for schools in California to reopen because the preponderance of submissions at the time expressed that view; the following week, readers (many of them teachers) mostly expressed the opposite opinion, and the letters published reflected that.

So it is going now with vaccines. Initially, when the L.A. County ramped up its COVID-19 vaccination effort, the vast majority of letters were from seniors expressing fear and frustration over not being able to schedule an appointment. In the following weeks, the trend shifted more to readers conveying their gratitude to the vaccine site volunteers and staff who helped them get their shots.

Now, with reports of vaccine inequity, innoculation site closures and priority given to teachers at an expensive private school in North Hollywood, the prevailing opinion has swung once again.

Rita Skinner of Riverside suggests a way to reach more seniors:

My husband died from COVID-19 in December. Since becoming eligible for the vaccine (I’m 72 with underlying medical issues), I have been trying with no success to get an appointment.

Along with the mass innoculation areas, local governments could set up smaller sites at senior and retirement communities. I live in a mobile home park for seniors; why can’t our leaders arrange to come and vaccinate the 400 people who live here? Many of us can’t jump in our cars and drive 60 miles or stand in line for hours.

Ted Rubin of Los Angeles is puzzled over priorities:

What’s the California Department of Public Health been smoking? Cannabis store clerks are eligible for vaccination ahead of teachers and non-seniors with underlying conditions because they sell “medical” marijuana?

So every sales clerk at CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens should also receive priority. This is another example of why the vaccine rollout has been such a mess.

Vicki Rupasinghe of Ojai decries vaccine inequity:

If parents at the Wesley School in North Hollywood, which was able to get vaccinations for its teachers, are paying between $28,460 and $32,020 per year in tuition, they are wealthy. Now that The Times has reported on this, it’s time for the paper to dig deeper and see how it happened.

Whatever the case, it shows the privilege of the rich in this country. Articles like this make me so angry, especially when Black and brown frontline workers and even older minority seniors are still waiting for their shots.

Will we as a nation ever achieve equity? To me, it seems like an impossible dream.

Kathy Monaco of Huntington Beach speaks up for her husband:

My husband is a 77-year-old Type 1 diabetic, and we have tried every avenue to get him an appointment, to no avail. I wonder how many like him got kicked from the line for the Wesley School’s “special program.”

I guess it’s more important for rich kids to be back in school than it is for old people to be out of the hospital.