Racial gap in COVID-19 vaccination distribution

Coronavirus Local Impact

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – As coronavirus vaccinations are underway statewide it’s hard not to notice the racial disparity data on who is getting the vaccine.

The most recent report from the state shows that white residents have received nearly 36 percent of the vaccine with only 2.6 percent of black residents getting the vaccine, that’s the lowest percent of all races vaccinated.

Almost 20 percent have gone to residents identifying as multiracial and then the numbers drop.

  • 3.3 percent for Hispanics
  • 2.8 percent for Asians
  • 2.6 percent for Blacks

This becomes a bigger issue as CDC and state data shows people of color have died of the disease at a higher rate than whites. Baystate Health has created a mitigation committee to help with this risk.

“A big deal in this is vaccine scarcity right now. When there’s a situation of scarcity it stacks the decks against people who are disadvantaged.” Paul Pirraglia, Baystate Health Chief of General Medicine and Community

Baystate Health says access to the vaccine, digital scheduling, historical medical mistrust and transportation are big issues and now they’re setting up vaccine clinics for their health center patients who are at greater risk over 75.

Hopes are high that with new data coming out Friday after Phase 2 began that these numbers will change towards equity.

Important to note that 35 percent of those vaccinated chose not to reveal their race or identified as other.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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