Racial Divide in Vaccination Rates

by Jan Frazier

New York  (Washington Insider Magazine) Vince Ford, a senior vice president of Community Health services at Prisma Health in South Carolina was wary of the Covid-19 shot. After months of developing the shot, he finally gave in and got it.

Black residents, like Ford, make up a quarter of the population, but only total about “19 percent of vaccinations, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.” In contrast to this, whites make up about 67 percent of the population, and vaccinations are given to 64 percent of the whites. 

`Across the country, whites are getting vaccinated at faster rates than the Black people or the Hispanics.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hispanics comprise 17 percent of the population but only are getting 12 percent of the vaccines.

In still another analysis, Kaiser Family Foundation discovered that among 43 states, the whites were getting “vaccinated at 1.6 times the rate of Black people and 1.5 times higher than the rate of Hispanic people.”

Harald Schmidt, an assistant professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, declared, “If we mean equity, and if we mean vaccine for all and justice for all then there’s still a lot more that we need to do.”

President Biden has done his part by pouring more than $10 billion into the nationwide vaccine project. However, “health practitioners and local leaders say hesitancy and access remain major barriers for communities of color, who have suffered disproportionate rates of Covid-19 hospitalization and deaths.”

Lisa Cacari Stone, a professor at the University of New Mexico College of Population Health and director of the Transdisciplinary Research, Equity, and Engagement Center claimed that at least a part of the problem has to be pre-existing barriers. “You can’t fix a structural issue overnight.”

Even with an effort to pay attention to the distribution problem of the vaccines, there are other problems – “from language barriers to transportation difficulties.” Some people stressed the fact that there has been a pause because of recent problems with Johnson & Johnson.

SOURCE

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