Black and Hispanic people are getting vaccinated against coronavirus at much lower rates than white people, despite being disproportionately hit by the pandemic, according to preliminary CDC data.
Initial CDC data released Monday shows stark disparities among those inoculated, while highlighting severe gaps across communities.
Demographic data: The agency released demographic data from the first month of the country’s vaccination campaign. But race and ethnicity was only known for about half of the 12.9 million Americans receiving a vaccine between Dec. 14 and Jan. 14, underscoring the need for more complete data reporting, the agency wrote.
Over 60 percent of those vaccinated were white. More than 14 percent reported they were of multiple or other races or ethnicities; 11.5 percent were Hispanic; 6 percent were Asian; just over 5 percent were Black; and 2 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native.
“I’m worried about how behind we are,” said Marcella Nunez-Smith, the leader of the Biden administration’s Health Equity Task Force, at a Monday press conference. “We must address these insufficient data points as an urgent priority.”
Additionally, about 63 percent of those vaccinated were women and about 55 percent were age 50 or older.
Vaccine uptake in nursing homes: A second CDC report out Monday confirmed anecdotal reports that coronavirus vaccination uptake is high among nursing home residents but low among staff.
Nearly 11,500 nursing homes had at least one vaccination clinic through a federal pharmacy partnership between Dec. 18 and Jan. 17. A median of nearly 78 percent of residents received the vaccine, while a median of only 37 percent of staff members per facility decided to get vaccinated.
Why it matters: President Joe Biden wants an equitable distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, but preliminary reports showcase just how much ground will need to be made up.
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