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.
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.
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.
Prayers Up: Notable Black Folks Who Have Contracted COVID-19
1. Usain Bolt, Olympic gold medalist
1 of 67
2. Gil Bailey, radio pioneer2 of 67
3. Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta mayorSource:Getty 3 of 67
4. Herman Cain, former presidential candidateSource:Getty 4 of 67
5. Nick Cannon, entertainerSource:Getty 5 of 67
6. Ben Carson, former HUD SecretarySource:Getty 6 of 67
7. Cedric Ceballos, former NBA player
7 of 67
On my 10th day in ICU, COVID-19 is officially kicking my but, I am asking ALL family, friends , prayer warriors healers for your prayers and well wish for my recovery.— Cedric Ceballos (@cedceballos) September 7, 2021
If I have done and anything to you in the past , allow me to publicly apologize.
My fight is not done…..
8. Dave Chappelle, comedianSource:Getty 8 of 67
9. Rep. Bonnie Watson ColemanSource:Getty 9 of 67
10. Jacob Desvarieux, guitaristSource:Getty 10 of 67
11. Manu Dibango, musicianSource:Getty 11 of 67
12. Dennis Dickson, NYPD employee12 of 67
13. Kevin Durant, NBA starSource:Getty 13 of 67
14. Larry Edgeworth
14 of 67
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
15. Kenneth "Babyface" EdmondsSource:Getty 15 of 67
16. Idris and Sabrina Dhowre Elba
16 of 67
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
17. Patrick Ewing, basketball legendSource:Getty 17 of 67
18. Ronald Fenty, Rihanna's dadSource:Getty 18 of 67
19. Vivica A. Fox, actressSource:Getty 19 of 67
20. Cori "Coco" Gauff, tennis starSource:Getty 20 of 67
21. Jimmy Glenn, legendary boxing trainerSource:Getty 21 of 67
22. Rudy Gobert
22 of 67
23. Louis Gossett Jr., actor, philanthropistSource:Getty 23 of 67
24. Lee Green, former college hoops star
24 of 67
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
25. Charles Gregory, Tyler Perry's makeup artrist
25 of 67
26. Lewis Hamilton, Formula One driverSource:Getty 26 of 67
27. Samuel Hargress Jr., owner of legendary Harlem nightclub
27 of 67
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
28. Conan Harris, Rep. Ayanna Pressley's husbandSource:Getty 28 of 67
29. Antoine Hodge, opera singerSource:GoFundMe 29 of 67
30. Mike Huckaby, techno music pioneer and DJ
30 of 67
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
31. Callum Hudson-OdoiSource:Getty 31 of 67
32. DL Hughley, comedian32 of 67
33. Ahmed Ismail Hussein, Somali singer
33 of 67
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
34. Jesse and Jacqueline JacksonSource:Getty 34 of 67
35. Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, former White House butler
35 of 67
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
36. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, actor
36 of 67
37. Paul Johnson, house music DJSource:Getty 37 of 67
38. Jim Jones, rapperSource:Getty 38 of 67
39. Brad "Scarface" JordanSource:Getty 39 of 67
40. DeAndre Jordan, NBA starSource:Getty 40 of 67
41. Tim Lester, NFL starSource:Getty 41 of 67
42. James Mahoney, pulmonologist
42 of 67
Dr. James Mahoney at University Hospital of Brooklyn pic.twitter.com/SXBxNlzApr— Lieutenant Kijé (@BrianLemaire2) May 19, 2020
43. Ellis Marsalis Jr., musicianSource:Getty 43 of 67
44. DeRay McKesson, activistSource:Getty 44 of 67
45. Von Miller, NFL starSource:Getty 45 of 67
46. Donovan Mitchell46 of 67
47. Wisconsin Rep. Rep. Gwen MooreSource:Getty 47 of 67
48. Lloyd Porter, small business owner in Brooklyn
48 of 67
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
49. Charley Pride, country music legendSource:Getty 49 of 67
50. Biden Adviser, Rep. Cedric RichmondSource:Getty 50 of 67
51. Arnie Robinson Jr., Olympian
51 of 67
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
52. Wallace RoneySource:Getty 52 of 67
53. Marcus Smart53 of 67
54. Shaka Smart, University Of Texas Men's Basketball CoachSource:Getty 54 of 67
55. Troy Sneed, gospel singerSource:Getty 55 of 67
56. Oliver "DJ Black N Mild" Stokes Jr.
56 of 67
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
57. Michael Strahan, 'Good Morning America' host, former NFL starSource:Getty 57 of 67
58. Carole Sutton, actressSource:Getty 58 of 67
59. Chucky Thompson, music producer, 53Source:Getty 59 of 67
60. Jeffrey "DJ Jazzy Jeff" Townes60 of 67
61. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers head coachSource:Getty 61 of 67
62. Karl-Anthony Towns, NBA starSource:Getty 62 of 67
63. Jo Thompson, singerSource:Getty 63 of 67
64. Karl-Anthony Towns' parents, Jacqueline Cruz and Karl-Anthony Towns Sr.64 of 67
65. Juan Williams, Fox News HostSource:Getty 65 of 67
66. Randall Woodfin, Mayor of Birmingham, AlabamaSource:Getty 66 of 67
67. Zumbi, rapperSource:Getty 67 of 67
Racial Disparities In Vaccine Distribution Demand Equity In Priorities was originally published on newsone.com