AHS is proud to be a hub for care and community since 1974 and especially during the pandemic as our community has faced challenges not only due to COVID-19 but also due to a rise in anti-Asian hate crime. We are honored that on October 27, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Mayor Libby Schaaf, and Assemblymember Mia Bonta chose to get their booster vaccine from AHS’ Rolland & Kathryn Lowe Medical Center. They wanted to encourage eligible Californians to get vaccinated—Mayor Schaaf notes how it’s a “great way to make yourself safer, and your family safer and your whole community safer.” Assemblymember Bonta echoed her sentiments, and added, “The simplest thing we can do right now is to go to our trusted providers like Asian Health Services to ensure that we’re actually getting our booster.”
Governor Newsom, who initially received the J&J vaccine, chose to get a Moderna booster to make a point about “mix and match,” saying “mixing matching is something we do commonly in vaccines.” Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency Dr. Mark Ghaly, who administered Newsom’s shot, reminded people of the same, and said that whether you’re mixing and matching or choosing to get the same vaccine, they are “all good choices; all really create stronger protection.”
After they received their vaccines, Governor Newsom, Mayor Schaaf, and Assemblymember Bonta held a press conference with AHS leadership and Supervisor Wilma Chan.
Julia Liou, the incoming CEO of AHS, highlighted how there has been a “dual pandemic of both COVID and the rise in anti-Asian hate and violence,” but that the community has “been at Ground Zero in terms of our advocacy locally, state and nationally and the fight back. And so, we are so pleased to be addressing these dual pandemics really from a public health framework and lens.”
AHS’ Chief Medical Officer Mychi Nguyen, M.D., who administered shots to Mayor Libby Schaaf and Assemblymember Mia Bonta, said, “We’re encouraging all eligible community members to come and get their booster shot. This is the best way to continue to protect yourself against COVID.”
Supervisor Wilma Chan cited encouraging metrics, about how California is the only state not in the red zone, and that 84% of eligible individuals in Alameda County have been fully vaccinated. California Governor Gavin Newsom recognized that, “Those are remarkable numbers in terms of those who have been fully vaccinated here in Alameda County. It’s just a reminder that any state vision has to be realized at the local level. Localism is determinative.”
As he recognized the progress that has been made, Governor Newsom also emphasized that “It’s imperative that we all keep our immunities strong in preparation for the winter cold, flu and now COVID season, especially for those at increased risk,” and brought in Dr. Ghaly for closing remarks. In response to the vaccines becoming approved for school children, Dr. Ghaly highlighted how COVID does affect children, with the CDC announcing that COVID is the 8th leading killer of young people, “so this is about protecting kids, prioritizing kids… and keeping schools safe.”
To read more coverage on this event, please see: