Incident 104: California's Algorithm Considered ZIP Codes in Vaccine Distribution, Allegedly Excluding Low-Income Neighborhoods and Communities of Color

Description: California's vaccine-distribution algorithm used ZIP codes as opposed to census tracts in its decision-making, which critics said undermined equity and access for vulnerable communities who are largely low-income, underserved neighborhoods with low Healthy Places Index scores.


New ReportNew ReportNew ResponseNew ResponseDiscoverDiscoverView HistoryView History

Incident Stats

Incident ID
Report Count
Incident Date
Sean McGregor, Khoa Lam
California's “Equity” Algorithm Could Leave 2 Million Struggling Californians Without Additional Vaccine Supply · 2021

As most Californians become eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, California is rightly centering equity in distributing doses to communities that have been hardest hit. But our analysis of the state’s most recent plans suggests that the …


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.

Similar Incidents

By textual similarity

Did our AI mess up? Flag the unrelated incidents