A drive-through vaccination site at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles last week.
Credit…Philip Cheung for The New York Times

Hoping to hasten its emergence from the coronavirus pandemic, California will begin channeling 40 percent of new vaccine doses to low-income communities pummeled by the coronavirus, officials in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration said late on Wednesday.

The strategy is an effort to make the vaccine rollout more equitable and to reduce the number of counties considered most at risk, as well as to speed California’s ability to reopen, officials said.

Once 400,000 more doses are administered in the target communities, the state will ease restrictions in high-risk counties, officials said, a threshold that could be reached in about two weeks.

The targeted communities are defined using a composite “health equity” index that assesses need based on income, education, transportation and housing availability. State data has indicated that when vaccination efforts are targeted at poorer Californians, wealthier people have gamed the system. Black and Latino residents have been inoculated in smaller numbers than their white neighbors.

California faced a surge in

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