Monday , June 21 2021

Democratic lawmakers demand racial breakdown of Covid-19 vaccinations

In a letter addressed to HHS acting Secretary Norris Cochran, the lawmakers said comprehensive data on the race and ethnicity of the people who have been vaccinated does not exist despite people of color dying and being hospitalized at disproportionate rates.

“This lack of information will exacerbate existing health disparities and result in the loss of lives in our most vulnerable communities,” reads the letter, signed by Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, all of whom are from Massachusetts.

CNN has reached out to the HHS for comment, but has not heard back.

The analysis found that on average, more than 4% of the White population has received a Covid-19 vaccine, about 2.3 times higher than the Black population (1.9% covered) and 2.6 times higher than the Hispanic population (1.8% covered).

The remaining US states have yet to provide racial data on who has received the vaccine.

Black and Latino Americans are dying of Covid-19 at three times the rate of White people and being hospitalized at a rate four times higher, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Covid-19 is sending Black, Latino and Native American people to the hospital at about 4 times the rate of others

Still, early data shows that Black and Latino people are not receiving the Covid-19 vaccine in proportion to their share of the population or their share of Covid-19 cases, the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

Pressley, Warren and Markey note that people of color make up the majority of frontline workers and face increased risk for exposure to the virus.

The lawmakers said robust data collection will allow them to not only address vaccine hesitancy and distrust in communities of color but help to rectify “centuries of medical neglect and dehumanization experienced by people of color.”

Their communities are deserted by pharmacies. Advocates fear this will lead to inequitable vaccine access

“In order to reach community immunity in the United States and save lives, the concerns and experiences of low-income communities and communities of color must be prioritized,” the letter says. “We urge HHS to partner with Community Health Centers, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, and trusted community partners to disseminate accurate information about vaccine efficacy and accessibility to combat vaccine hesitancy and disinformation.”

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