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Early data reported by CDC shows disparity among minorities and COVID vaccine

Updated: Feb. 3, 2021 at 11:38 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a disparity among minority groups getting the COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.

They looked at the demographics for nearly 12.5 million Americans who got at least one dose between Dec. 14 and Jan. 14.

The CDC reports women and white people are most likely to have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. Race and ethnicity is unknown for about half of those vaccinated, but the CDC says for those identified, about 5 percent were African American. The CDC says more complete reporting on race and ethnicity is needed.

Columbus City Councilor Toyia Tucker says after speaking with several people in the healthcare field, she thinks the disparity stems from distribution and access.

“Point in case, some of the vaccinations are going directly to places like Walgreens and CVS and not particularly public health,” Tucker said.

She says learning exactly how many vaccinations are available is a key question.

“Especially in reference to Columbus, Georgia. Like how many do we have here locally that we can actually provide to the citizens? So, these are questions that I think maybe should be asked at council when we do our COVID update,” she said.

Pamela Kirkland with the Columbus Health Department says they do not track demographics and the vaccine at a local level, but thinks FEMA’s $104.6 million grant for COVID-19 vaccine costs in the peach state could help with the disparity.

“That may be part of the FEMA money also that may be going towards assisting in the smaller, rural communities to get them vaccinated where there may be larger minority populations,” Kirkland said.

A representative with the Georgia Department of Public Health says they do track demographics and the COVID-19 vaccine, but it’s completely dependent on providers filling out those categories when they enter the data. They’ll be launching a new dashboard within a week that will show this information.

Tucker says one solution to the disparity among minorities and the vaccine could be directly taking the vaccine to multiple places throughout the community like Shirley B. Winston or Farley Homes. She says there will be a COVID-19 vaccine panel on Facebook live Wed. starting at 7 p.m. This panel is hosted by the Delta Iota Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

COVID Vaccine Panel on Facebook Live
COVID Vaccine Panel on Facebook Live(WTVM)

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