Friday, April 12, 2024

White Americans are getting Vaccinated at a Higher Rate than Black & Latino Americans

Black and Latinos are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at lower rates than White Americans, a disparity that health advocates blame on the federal government and hospitals for not prioritizing equitable access.

A CNN analysis of data from 14 states found vaccine coverage is twice as high among White Americans on average than compared to Black and Latinos. The analysis found that on average, more than 4% of the White American population has received a COVID-19 vaccine, which is about 2.3 times higher than the Black American population and 2.6 times higher than the Latino population.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black and Latinos are already dying of COVID-19 at three times the rate of White Americans as well as being hospitalized at a rate of four times higher. These findings come as the government struggles with vaccine supply shortages and a chaotic rollout that has caused delays in vaccinating the elderly population.  The federal government has recommended that states open vaccination to more groups of people, including everyone older than 65 years old.

According to a CDC guidance, it was suggested that health care workers and elderly in long-term facilities be the first to receive the vaccine. Black, Latino, and Asian Americans make up 41% of health care workers while 59% are White and 52% of workers in long-term health care setting are people of color.

Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, stated that the vaccine also needs to be administered outside of traditional hours so people who work hourly and frontline jobs don’t have to take off work. Communities should consider a plan for transporting poor families without vehicles to health facilities to get the vaccine. “You have to say, ‘I want to make sure everyone gets this,'” Benjamin said.

President Biden and his administration have released details of a national vaccination strategy with the hopes of fighting concerns with the vaccine access and the hesitancy among people of color.  “We are going to make sure there are vaccination centers in communities hit hardest by the pandemic, in Black and Latino communities and rural communities as well” said President Biden.