Los Angeles mayor says vaccines by ZIP code would have saved lives

National News

In this March 4, 2021, file photo, people wait under tents for their turn to be vaccinated at the St. John’s Well Child and Family Center COVID-19 vaccination site at the East Los Angeles Civic Center in Los Angeles. California’s two largest counties, Los Angeles and San Diego, have signed on to administer vaccine under a centralized system operated by insurer Blue Shield, greatly advancing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s vision of a uniform COVID-19 vaccine network despite widespread pushback from local health offices. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

SAN FRANCISCO — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said “a lot of deaths” could have been prevented if the state had focused earlier on vaccinating those in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Garcetti also said Friday the federal and state governments haven’t given local officials like him enough freedom to inoculate who they feel are most at risk.

Garcetti and Gov. Gavin Newsom are fellow Democrats and close friends. And while the mayor didn’t name Newsom, his comments ultimately are criticism of the governor and his initial tightly constrained approach to inoculating residents by age and profession.

Newsom has since pivoted and set aside 40% of all doses for people in the state’s poorest areas.

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