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During an Ethnic Media Services community conversation with ethnic media organized by Saint Paul AME Church in San Bernardino, Black Voice News, and California Black Media, community leaders and Black family caregivers discussed the importance of vaccines in helping keep themselves safe and able to care for their families. Family caregivers have not been considered essential workers, and therefore were ineligible to be first in line when Covid vaccines appeared on the scene in early 2021, said Donna Benton, director of the USC Family Caregiver Support Center and the Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center. There are more than 4.5 million family caregivers in California alone, but Benton said they are largely invisible in the broader healthcare system. “Caregivers are saying ‘we want the masks.’ We need PPE. We need to be prioritized for boosters, and also for testing,’” she said.

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