Rep. Ruiz Advocates to Bring More Vaccines to Constituents

February 16, 2021
Press Release

Palm Desert, CA – Today, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) wrote to President Joe Biden requesting more vaccines for Riverside County health centers. Dr. Ruiz’s letter comes after Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in the 36th District were not included in the first round of the Community Health Centers Vaccination Program, which distributes federal vaccines to local Community Health Centers (CHCs) across the country, including in the state of California. 

“I am disappointed Riverside County was not represented in this selection,” said Dr. Ruiz in the letter. “I am respectfully requesting that Riverside County Community Health Centers receive vaccines in the next cohort of 250 health centers…I have been assured the Community Health Centers in my district, located in Eastern Riverside County, are ready, equipped, and able to accept vaccines and inoculate their communities.”

Dr. Ruiz’s request would provide health centers in Riverside County direct access to the federal vaccine supply. 

You can read the full letter here.  

Background 

California’s 36th Congressional District includes ten FQHCs that provide quality, comprehensive care to a diverse patient population, many of which are considered low income. The FQHCs in Dr. Ruiz’s district meet the criteria for the Biden Administration’s plan and serve more than 191,000 patients each year. 

Since the rollout of coronavirus vaccines in California, Riverside County residents have faced roadblocks to receiving the vaccine due to dosage shortages. This is especially concerning given the large population of high-risk individuals in the County and the fact that the County has the seventh highest percentage of new cases in the entire state of California. 

Dr. Ruiz’s latest advocacy follows his calls for CVS pharmacies in Riverside County to offer COVID-19 vaccines after the County was excluded from the company’s original vaccination location announcement. After Dr. Ruiz’s letter was sent, CVS Health announced it would offer vaccines at several Riverside County locations. 

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