Were in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic and the effort to curb the virus is a joint-effort from the entire populace but it wouldn’t be fair if the government isn’t doing enough to help fight the deadly virus off once and for all.
Since New York has opened its COVID-19 vaccination center back in January of this year in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, the attempt is to keep everyone jabbed with no one left behind at least that’s what Governor Andrew Cuomo said in the community which has a majority of Latino population.
However, that hasn’t been the case since the set up as People of color are being left behind in the campaign.
“Simply put, I’ve never seen so many White people in Washington Heights,” volunteer doctor Susana Bejar tweeted, later telling CNN that locals were already at a disadvantage because appointments were primarily made available through an English-only smartphone app.
To buttress that claim, there was a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention back on Thursday which made it clearer that the situation at Washington Heights is just not the only one.
The study made it known that both Blacks and Latinos are underrepresented in the first month of the nationwide vaccination campaign which is quite disturbing.
According to the estimate, only 5.4% of the Americans who got a dose out of the two-doses of the Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine were black while Hispanic and Latino Americans made up the 11.5% percent of the vaccination while the majority were white.
Some 14.4% who identified as “Mixed” or “others” in their race were part of the larger share after those that identified as White. As of now, there have been 12.9 million people vaccinated but only 6.7 million people have the information about their race or ethnicity documented.
The United States is a well diverse country with its black population making up 13.4% while the Latinos make up 18.5% and White make up the larger 60.1% of the community according to the Census Bureau.
The rate of vaccination among white people is proportional to the makeup of the country’s population—not so among Black Americans. “There’s a lot of people on the fence, and no one there to answer the questions they have.”
“There’s a lot of people on the fence, and no one there to answer the questions they have,” Dr. Donald Alcendor, an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Meharry Medical College—a historically Black medical school in Nashville—told The Daily Beast.
“So they’re getting a lot of hearsay. They want to see somebody who looks like me get the vaccine and be fine after they get it.”
The fear of the mutant strains of the coronavirus in the country would become much more disastrous to black communities according to Dr. Peter Hotez.
“A perfect storm is brewing in Black communities across America,” he wrote. “The increased COVID-19 exposure in low-income neighborhoods, high rates of co-morbidities and deaths in younger age groups, lack of vaccine access, and vaccine refusal, all work to ensure that adult Black people will sustain devastating losses.”
There have been issues with less trusts in the system which Alcendor stated to being due to the history of racism. There have been people who have doubted taking the vaccine due to so many conspiracy theories being made up about what the vaccine is all about in the first place. A good example would be the case of baseball legend Hank Aaron who’s death was falsely attributed to the vaccine.
“People are concerned with how quickly this was developed,” he said. “Naming this project as ‘Project Warp Speed’ gave people the idea this was rushed along.”
Alcendor acts as a community liaison for Meharry’s clinical trial of the Novavax coronavirus vaccine. He said his team struggled to get Hispanic and Latino people to participate in the trial. Many were concerned that providing their personal information could lead to them being turned over to immigration authorities.
“If you want to vaccinate everyone besides undocumented folks, you’re gonna have a reservoir of infections that’s gonna keep this monster going for a long time,” Alcendor said.
The low rate of vaccination in the black communication also correlates with the effects of the COVID-19 when it hit the low-income homes considering the devastating effects of the pandemic on the economy of the country which has led to millions of job loss.
The CDC found that Black Americans were 1.4 times more likely than white people to become infected, 3.7 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 2.8 times more likely to die from COVID-19.
Further researches released by the CDC also found that more women have received the vaccine than men with women making up a whooping 63% of the number while men only make up for 37% based on the number of those that revealed their sex/gender.
The study’s authors reasoned that two intersecting factors were at play in the difference: three-quarters of health-care workers are women, and 65 percent of long-term care facility residents are women as well.
The intention was to get older and vulnerable people vaccinated first while also keeping the healthcare workers and those at the frontline of the pandemic vaccinated as well. That could explain why about 55% of those vaccinated were over the age of 50 with 99.9% reporting their age.