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
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2. Gil Bailey, radio pioneer2 of 68
3. Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta mayorSource:Getty 3 of 68
4. Herman Cain, former presidential candidateSource:Getty 4 of 68
5. Nick Cannon, entertainerSource:Getty 5 of 68
6. Ben Carson, former HUD SecretarySource:Getty 6 of 68
7. Cedric Ceballos, former NBA player
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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 68
9. Rep. Bonnie Watson ColemanSource:Getty 9 of 68
10. Jacob Desvarieux, guitaristSource:Getty 10 of 68
11. Manu Dibango, musicianSource:Getty 11 of 68
12. Dennis Dickson, NYPD employee12 of 68
13. Kevin Durant, NBA starSource:Getty 13 of 68
14. 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
15. Kenneth "Babyface" EdmondsSource:Getty 15 of 68
16. 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
17. Patrick Ewing, basketball legendSource:Getty 17 of 68
18. Ronald Fenty, Rihanna's dadSource:Getty 18 of 68
19. Vivica A. Fox, actressSource:Getty 19 of 68
20. Cori "Coco" Gauff, tennis starSource:Getty 20 of 68
21. Jimmy Glenn, legendary boxing trainerSource:Getty 21 of 68
22. Rudy Gobert
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23. Louis Gossett Jr., actor, philanthropistSource:Getty 23 of 68
24. Lee Green, former college hoops star
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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
25. Charles Gregory, Tyler Perry's makeup artrist
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26. Lewis Hamilton, Formula One driverSource:Getty 26 of 68
27. 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
28. Conan Harris, Rep. Ayanna Pressley's husbandSource:Getty 28 of 68
29. Antoine Hodge, opera singerSource:GoFundMe 29 of 68
30. 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
31. Callum Hudson-OdoiSource:Getty 31 of 68
32. DL Hughley, comedian32 of 68
33. Ahmed Ismail Hussein, Somali singer
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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
34. Jesse and Jacqueline JacksonSource:Getty 34 of 68
35. 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
36. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, actor
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37. Paul Johnson, house music DJSource:Getty 37 of 68
38. Jim Jones, rapperSource:Getty 38 of 68
39. Brad "Scarface" JordanSource:Getty 39 of 68
40. DeAndre Jordan, NBA starSource:Getty 40 of 68
41. Tim Lester, NFL starSource:Getty 41 of 68
42. 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
43. Ellis Marsalis Jr., musicianSource:Getty 43 of 68
44. DeRay McKesson, activistSource:Getty 44 of 68
45. Von Miller, NFL starSource:Getty 45 of 68
46. Nicki MinajSource:Getty 46 of 68
47. Donovan Mitchell47 of 68
48. Wisconsin Rep. Rep. Gwen MooreSource:Getty 48 of 68
49. 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
50. Charley Pride, country music legendSource:Getty 50 of 68
51. Biden Adviser, Rep. Cedric RichmondSource:Getty 51 of 68
52. 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
53. Wallace RoneySource:Getty 53 of 68
54. Marcus Smart54 of 68
55. Shaka Smart, University Of Texas Men's Basketball CoachSource:Getty 55 of 68
56. Troy Sneed, gospel singerSource:Getty 56 of 68
57. 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
58. Michael Strahan, 'Good Morning America' host, former NFL starSource:Getty 58 of 68
59. Carole Sutton, actressSource:Getty 59 of 68
60. Chucky Thompson, music producer, 53Source:Getty 60 of 68
61. Jeffrey "DJ Jazzy Jeff" Townes61 of 68
62. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers head coachSource:Getty 62 of 68
63. Karl-Anthony Towns, NBA starSource:Getty 63 of 68
64. Jo Thompson, singerSource:Getty 64 of 68
65. Karl-Anthony Towns' parents, Jacqueline Cruz and Karl-Anthony Towns Sr.65 of 68
66. Juan Williams, Fox News HostSource:Getty 66 of 68
67. Randall Woodfin, Mayor of Birmingham, AlabamaSource:Getty 67 of 68
68. Zumbi, rapperSource:Getty 68 of 68
Racial Disparities In Vaccine Distribution Demand Equity In Priorities was originally published on newsone.com