3 Reasons Why Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution Is So Inequitable
Vaccine skepticism in Black and Latinx communities is not the main factor
There are disturbing disparities in the racial and ethnic breakdown of vaccinated people in the United States. Race or ethnicity is known for 55% of the people who have gotten one dose of the vaccine, and according to a February 16 analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 6% of these people were Black, and 9% were Latinx. Other minorities comprised an even smaller proportion, while white people made up 63% of the total.
What’s causing these disparities? Although vaccine hesitancy is a concern in communities that have historically experienced medical racism, Tiffany Onyejiaka writes in Elemental that it’s not a major factor. Rather, it’s the fact that people in Black and Latinx communities lack access to the vaccines in the first place.
She points to the improper handling of vaccine distribution, a lack of community collaboration in distribution planning, and widespread digital disparities as the main reasons why the vaccine rollout has been so inequitable. “A myriad of systematic and social factors, rooted in racial and socioeconomic inequities, has led to the lack of vaccines in the communities that need them the most,” Onyejiaka writes.
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