Still significant racial disparity in COVID-19 vaccinations

Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the lead administrator for Biden’s health equity task force, said that the Latino community has experienced significantly more COVID-19 cases, but is also experiencing fewer vaccinations. 

Meanwhile, the Black community is experiencing higher rates of death due to the COVID-19 virus, while vaccination data for the Black community are insufficient. 

She said that the Black community is still largely hesitant to trust the vaccine and/or the government and healthcare providers distributing the vaccine. This is due to a long, and contemporary history of medical malpractice against the Black community.

In efforts to improve vaccination numbers in communities where vaccine hesitancy is high, there are significant steps towards community education programs which include a public education campaign, grassroots organizing, and community roundtables.

So far, the US has 580 operational, federally supported vaccination sites and an additional 170 sites actively receiving on-site support from federal personnel. 

“Each of our federal sites has been designed with key equity-oriented features — with targeted geographic eligibility, weekend extended hours, reserved slots for registration through faith-based and community-based organizations, as well as deployment alongside mobile vaccination units to help vaccinate surrounding communities,” said Dr. Nunez-Smith. 

With the approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the additional supply should improve the number of vaccinations in the hardest-hit, highest-risk communities both rural and urban. 

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