Leimert Park residents offered incentives to get vaccinated

Los Angeles County officials continue to offer a variety of incentives to get people vaccinated, with their latest efforts targeted people in the Leimert Park area.

Officials say only about 58.7% of Leimert Park residents over the age of 16 have been vaccinated so far, and Saturday's focus was particularly on young Black men, who have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the county. 

Small businesses in Leimert Park received $200 for displaying posters in their storefronts, and everyone who got vaccinated Saturday at a Community Build location received a $25 American Express gift card. Barbers who referred customers to vaccination sites received a $25 American Express gift card for each person who successfully gets vaccinated as a result.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas and state Sen. Sydney Kamlager, D-Los Angeles, attended a news conference at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic hosted by St. John's Well Child and Family Center to highlight the campaign.

"We still have about 4 million residents in Los Angeles County that are not yet vaccinated, and risk of increased spread of the Delta variant remains high. This is why it's so important that we are here in Leimert Park and that we continue to do all we can to reach Black and Latinx communities who are disproportionately impacted by COVID 19,'' Mitchell said.

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"Data has continuously shown communities of color are being disproportionately impacted by this pandemic -- and 16 months into the pandemic with the fast-paced Delta variant continuing to spread ... I commend St. John's Well Child and Family Center for doubling down on this work and providing equitable access to the vaccine,'' Ridley-Thomas said.

"COVID-19 hasn't gone away. We've seen the staggering increase in cases in L.A. County, with the virus continuing to bring disparate and immeasurable harm to our Black and Brown communities -- including right here in Leimert Park'' Kamlager said. 

"Today, I'm honored to join St. John's Well Child and Family Center and other L.A. elected officials to address vaccine hesitancy in a way that speaks to communities who've been reluctant to get the shot, while also offering incentivized opportunities to get the vaccine. We can't lax on the vax.''

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