To help protect the health and well-being of Los Angeles County residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) implemented the largest vaccine distribution effort in its history. As the largest U.S. county, L.A. County’s vaccine equity efforts have been pivotal to the achievement of county, state and national benchmarks. To support this effort, FUSE Executive Fellow Tracey Veal worked to improve equitable and efficient distribution and uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine across all communities. Tracey led the planning and implementation of distribution efforts, with over 11.6 million doses administered to 74% of L.A. County residents. 

Launched when L.A. County was the nation’s pandemic epicenter, Tracey developed an equity implementation plan and formed and directed the COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Task Force. She led the coordination and planning of vaccine distribution, uptake, reporting and data collection to support transparency. She engaged over 150 community organizations, service providers, and county agencies to ensure there was an equitable and culturally responsive vaccine distribution plan across all of the County’s diverse communities and underserved populations. She developed and led faith-based collaborations, through which she interacted with faith leaders, conducted educational forums, informed messaging to communities, identified trusted, convenient locations for vaccine distribution, and addressed mobile clinic needs. Additionally, Tracey formed and led volunteer groups and established distribution events around holidays and heritage months. Tracey was instrumental in forging and leveraging countywide strategic partnerships for sustainable health collaborations beyond COVID-19 vaccines, helping form a department-wide health equity task force. As a result of her work, DPH was able to vaccinate more people, reducing morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19 and safeguarding the health and well-being of residents.