No Priorities for Minorities

What are the goals of the Covid vaccine? Certainly, one goals is to stop so many people from becoming ill and dying. Minorities (Blacks, Hispanics, & Native Americans) are getting sicker and dying more than their white counterparts.

Black, Hispanic and Native Americans are dying from Covid at nearly three times the rate of white Americans, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis. And non-Hispanic Black and Asian health care workers are more likely to contract Covid and to die from it than white workers.

Would it not makes sense to prioritize the minorities who suffer disproportionately from the Covid virus? No one is suggesting that minorities need to be the first group but rather a priority. However, we should not be surprised that the people who were told for months that they are disproportionately affected by covid-19 are the same groups of people that are less likely to be a priority to get vaccinated?

As of January 20, 2021 – approximately 3% of Black Americans have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine so far. But in 16 states that have released data by race, white residents are being vaccinated at significantly higher rates than Black residents.

Minorities as a group not even listed as a concerned group. They are not even on the priority list. We have first responders, then elderly. Fortunately or unfortunately, most of the elderly are white. Not only minorities are not prioritized, the minorities that are meeting the age requirements of 75 and then 65, are not able to easily access the vaccine location as many require some form of transportation to get there. The States’ roll out of the vaccine locations are not in the neighborhoods where minorities live.

Sidebar:

  1. CDC listed: Phase 1a as LTCF (Long Term Care Facilities) residents & Health Care Personnel.

                          Phase 1b as Persons 75 & older & Frontline Essential Workers.

                          Phase 1c as Persons 65-74, Persons 16-64 with high risk medical Conditions, & Essential workers.

2. Based on preventing additional deaths and continuing societal functions of the people who must keep society going, this list make sense.

To be fair, there are some minorities in all phases above; by default, many of the first responders, health aides, and nursing home workers are Black & Brown.

Some get the importance of prioritizing the vaccine for the minority population. The Veterans Administration has adopted an explicit preferences of this sort. In a Dec. 10 document, it announced that it would prioritize Black, Hispanic, Native American and Asian veterans in vaccine distribution because these communities “have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.”Additionally, there are at least two States (California & Colorado) Colorado has written a recognition of systemic racism into its vaccination plan—though officials have yet to exactly say what steps the state might take in response. California’s plan lists racial and ethnic minority groups among the “critical population” that could receive the vaccine ahead of other groups.

The need for the vaccine is so much higher than the supply of vaccine. Those who are at risk of illness and death are still at risk. “My concern now is if we don’t vaccinate the population that’s highest-risk, we’re going to see even more disproportional deaths in Black and brown communities,” said Dr. Fola May, a UCLA physician and health equity researcher.

Now Trutalk:

  • What was the purpose of constantly telling/sharing data that minorities are being affected by Covud at a disproportionate rate if no care was taken to combat the disparity?
  • With so little vaccine on the front end, it is certainly necessary to prioritize who gets what & when. But it is also necessary to prioritize the groups that are or have suffered disproportionately.
  • I am not advocating that any or all minorities should be prioritized but rather those minorities that also have chronic conditions such as diabetes.
  • Some minorities will not take the vaccine but that is no reason not to offer it to minorities.

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