Since COVID-19 vaccination drives have been popping up throughout the country, an Associated Press analysis found an alarming disparity among Black Americans and their white counterparts.
Black people are receiving the vaccine at a significantly lower rate than the general population, according to statistics from 17 states, and two cities that were gathered through Jan. 25, The Associated Press writes.
The data comes from Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia, and two cities, Philadelphia and Chicago.
According to the news outlet, in North Carolina, 22 percent of Black people make up the state’s population and 26 percent of healthcare workers but only 11 percent have received the coronavirus vaccine.
However, white people, who are 68 percent of North Carolina’s population have received 82 percent of the state’s vaccination. North Carolina considers Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites to be in the same category.
“We’re going to see a widening and exacerbation of the racial health inequities that were here before the pandemic and worsened during the pandemic if our communities cannot access the vaccine,” said Dr. Uché Blackstock, a New York emergency physician and CEO of Advancing Health Equity.
The large gap between Black American and White Americans receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is especially troubling given that Black, Hispanic and Native American people are succumbing to the disease at nearly three times the rate of white people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the chair of Biden’s COVID-19 equity task force, said that President Joe Biden and the Biden administration is pushing to bring more equity to the vaccine rollout, CNN reports.