New data shows racial disparities for vaccinations

Coronavirus Local Impact

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- There’s a lot of frustration built up with how the vaccine is being rolled out in Massachusetts.

The state continues to claim that vaccine doses are being limited by the federal government, which has affected accessibility at mass vaccination sites.

Since the Eastfield Mall is still western Massachusetts’ only mass vaccination site run by the state, local leaders are calling for more clinics to open in neighborhoods so black communities have an easier time getting to a vaccination appointment. It’s not just transportation that’s been a problem for vulnerable black communities.

“There are many people who still don’t have access to the internet and on top of that, it takes money to get to the Eastfield mall, or you have to have someone who is willing to give you a ride,” said Justin Hurst, a Springfield City Councilor. “You have a lot of people who are more concerned putting food on the table than having access to this vaccine.”

This is why Hurst strongly believes why getting the shot needs to be easier. He mentioned having vaccination sites at schools and other places in the inner city.

“It should have been done drastically different and we should have started with the inner city the impoverished, and minorities where people are on top of each other,” said Hurst. “We need to do a better job bottom line.”

In Massachusetts, the white vaccination rate currently is 2.6 percent, compared to 1.8 for the black population.

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