Vaccine distribution is not keeping up with the impact of COVID-19 on Black and other communities of color. Ongoing disparities in vaccine distribution show the need for targeted efforts to provide coverage to impacted groups.
States are expanding eligibility in vaccine rollout but vaccination rates for Black people lag in comparison to the white counterparts. A new analysis from Kaiser Health News showed that in states that provide race and ethnicity data, white people have a vaccination rate that is two to three times that of their Black counterparts. It’s even higher in Pennsylvania at four times the rate.
One of President Joe Biden’s priorities in the first week of his administration was establishing the COVID-19 Equity Task Force. Co-chaired by Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the task force is looking at how to prioritize hard-hit communities in vaccine distribution.
"Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity." — Dr. King
As we work to distribute this vaccine safely, quickly, and equitably, we will ensure communities hit hardest by the virus get the care they need. pic.twitter.com/xn51O2zKTc
— Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith (@DrNunezSmith) January 18, 2021
During a CNN town hall, Nunez-Smith challenged people to look beyond naming that racial disparities exist, and digging deeper into the root causes. Nunez-Smith said that equity and accessibility were key priorities built into the Biden Administration’s national plan.
Even as Biden proposes to invest in federally supported vaccination centers in high-risk neighborhoods and other systems to aid in vaccine distribution ensuring equity in distribution is a challenge. Recent reports from the Washington Heights neighborhood in New York City and Dallas County, Texas show that people are traveling into communities of color and lower-income communities to be vaccinated.
While the chaotic rollout and failed federal response are partly to blame, pandemic disinformation may also play a role in people’s reluctance in getting vaccinated. The hesitance and concern around the vaccine point to the need for clear verifiable information and public health outreach to address historic issues.
I keep seeing people say that the J & J vaccine is still cause for celebration, even tho the numbers fell short of expectations. I suspect none of those people are poor. Bc folks without resources know who will get the weaker vaccine.
— Puff the Magic Hater (@MsKellyMHayes) January 29, 2021
Another area of concern, particularly when it comes to equity, is vaccine effectiveness. With Johnson & Johnson releasing results showing its one-dose vaccine is less effective than the two doses from either Moderna or Pfizer, the difference in vaccine effectiveness and who gets which vaccine needs to be monitored. This becomes particularly important as folks rush to scale up vaccination and see the Johnson & Johnson version as a less expensive, easier alternative.
Ease of distribution and effectiveness need to be balanced alongside equity concerns to make sure that hardest-hit communities are receiving their fair share of life-saving medicines.
During its trial, the Johnson & Johnson vaccination was 66% effective in preventing a person from developing COVID-19 symptoms, and 85% effective in preventing severe symptoms requiring hospitalization. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccinations were found to be 95% effective in preventing symptoms and nearly 100% effective in preventing severe infections after two doses.
As reported by ABC News, the Food and Drug Administration has stated it would accept a vaccination that is more than 50% effective.
Notable Black Folks Who Have Contracted The Coronavirus
1. Usain Bolt, Olympic gold medalist
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2. Gil Bailey, radio pioneer2 of 58
3. Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta mayorSource:Getty 3 of 58
4. Herman Cain, former presidential candidateSource:Getty 4 of 58
5. Nick Cannon, entertainerSource:Getty 5 of 58
6. Ben CarsonSource:Getty 6 of 58
7. Dave Chappelle, comedianSource:Getty 7 of 58
8. Rep. Bonnie Watson ColemanSource:Getty 8 of 58
9. Manu DibangoSource:Getty 9 of 58
10. Dennis Dickson10 of 58
11. Kevin DurantSource:Getty 11 of 58
12. Larry Edgeworth
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Prayers to the family of NBC’s Larry Edgeworth 💔🙏🏽 and my former colleagues at 30 Rock. He died after testing positive for #coronavirus. Larry would always offer to help me ...even after I moved to CBS. He just wanted to see another brother win. #IAmMyBrothersKeeper Rest 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/TyXbiHs30d— DeMarco Morgan (@DeMarcoReports) March 20, 2020
13. Kenneth "Babyface" EdmondsSource:Getty 13 of 58
14. Idris and Sabrina Dhowre Elba
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This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing 👊🏾👊🏾 No panic. pic.twitter.com/Lg7HVMZglZ— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 16, 2020
15. Patrick Ewing, basketball legendSource:Getty 15 of 58
16. Ronald Fenty, Rihanna's dadSource:Getty 16 of 58
17. Vivica A. Fox, actressSource:Getty 17 of 58
18. Jimmy Glenn, legendary boxing trainerSource:Getty 18 of 58
19. Rudy Gobert
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20. Louis Gossett Jr., actor, philanthropistSource:Getty 20 of 58
21. Lee Green
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It is with much sadness to inform all in my SJU family that we lost Lee Green to Covid-19 today. A Parade All-American who played 3 years at #SJUBB Lee was our warrior on those teams. A true lock em up defender that relished shutting down the best opponents. RIP Lee🙏🏻 #gone2soon pic.twitter.com/X4TIPbVvoU— Ron Linfonte (@SJU5) March 24, 2020
22. Charles Gregory, Tyler Perry's makeup artrist
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23. Lewis Hamilton, Formula One driverSource:Getty 23 of 58
24. Samuel Hargress Jr., owner of legendary Harlem nightclub
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Thank You for your friendship Sam! 💔#RIP💔 Harlem's Paris Blues Jazz Club has been a celebrated local music joint since 1969, playing live jazz and blues nightly. It's owner and manager, Mr. Samuel Hargress Jr., has been in the club nearly every day for the past 51 years. 💫🔥💫 pic.twitter.com/oSM9Cbzzdb— B Michael (@bmichaelAmerica) April 15, 2020
25. Conan Harris, Rep. Ayanna Pressley's husbandSource:Getty 25 of 58
26. Antoine Hodge, opera singerSource:GoFundMe 26 of 58
27. Mike Huckaby, techno music pioneer and DJ
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R.I.P Mike Huckaby. You will forever continue to change so many peoples lives with your music, technique and mentoring. These clips of Huck are from ‘Detroit The Blueprint Of Techno’ 💔 pic.twitter.com/8t8c83Uy2K— Dark Entries Records (@darkentriesrecs) April 25, 2020
28. Callum Hudson-OdoiSource:Getty 28 of 58
29. DL Hughley, comedian29 of 58
30. Ahmed Ismail Hussein, Somali singer, 92
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BREAKING: One of Somalia’s greatest artists has died in London after contracting Corona Virus. Ahmed Ismail Hussein “Hudeydi” known as the “King of Oud” has been in hospital for four days. He was 92. pic.twitter.com/iCii8vYVVv— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) April 8, 2020
31. Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, former White House butler
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Tonight on @fox5dc at 10p -— 𝙎𝙝𝙖𝙬𝙣 𝙔𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙮 (@ShawnYancyTV) May 20, 2020
He served at the pleasure of 11 U.S. Presidents... during his 55 years at the White House.
Last weekend, he passed from COVID-19.
My exclusive interview with the granddaughter of White House butler, Wilson Jerman is next! pic.twitter.com/SBiXbQLiud
32. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
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33. Brad "Scarface" JordanSource:Getty 33 of 58
34. DeAndre Jordan, NBA starSource:Getty 34 of 58
35. Tim Lester, NFL starSource:Getty 35 of 58
36. James Mahoney, pulmonologist
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Dr. James Mahoney at University Hospital of Brooklyn pic.twitter.com/SXBxNlzApr— Lieutenant Kijé (@BrianLemaire2) May 19, 2020
37. Ellis Marsalis Jr.Source:Getty 37 of 58
38. DeRay McKessonSource:Getty 38 of 58
39. Von MillerSource:Getty 39 of 58
40. Donovan Mitchell
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41. Wisconsin Rep. Rep. Gwen MooreSource:Getty 41 of 58
42. Lloyd Porter, small business owner in Brooklyn
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Devastated to hear Lloyd Porter has pass away from covid19. Lloyd was a pillar in Brooklyn. His coffee shop Breadstuy is where I met some of my closest friends. He sometimes hired people with records that couldn't easily find work. He believed in community. Rest well Brother— Blitz Bazawule (@BlitzAmbassador) May 7, 2020
43. Charley Pride, country music legendSource:Getty 43 of 58
44. Biden Adviser, Rep. Cedric RichmondSource:Getty 44 of 58
45. Arnie Robinson Jr., Olympian
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Arnie Robinson Jr., who won the gold medal in the long jump at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, died on Dec. 2 at his home in San Diego. He was 72. https://t.co/lYnpSbWkzO— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) December 16, 2020
46. Wallace RoneySource:Getty 46 of 58
47. Marcus Smart47 of 58
48. Shaka Smart, University Of Texas Men's Basketball CoachSource:Getty 48 of 58
49. Troy Sneed, gospel singerSource:Getty 49 of 58
50. Oliver "DJ Black N Mild" Stokes Jr.
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New Orleans bounce DJ and radio personality Black N Mild has died after testing positive for coronavirus. For the past 25 years, he also deejayed at countless clubs, parties and other private events across the southeast. pic.twitter.com/2e6mnKhiXQ— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) March 21, 2020
51. Michael Strahan, 'Good Morning America' host, former NFL starSource:Getty 51 of 58
52. Carole Sutton, actressSource:Getty 52 of 58
53. Jeffrey "DJ Jazzy Jeff" Townes53 of 58
54. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers head coachSource:Getty 54 of 58
55. Karl-Anthony Towns, NBA starSource:Getty 55 of 58
56. Karl-Anthony Towns' parents, Jacqueline Cruz and Karl-Anthony Towns Sr.56 of 58
57. Juan Williams, Fox News HostSource:Getty 57 of 58
58. Randall Woodfin, Mayor of Birmingham, AlabamaSource:Getty 58 of 58
Racial Disparities In Vaccine Distribution Demand Equity In Priorities was originally published on newsone.com