Another news about racial disparity From Chicago. People are astonished to know that racial disparity is seen even for the rollout of Covid vaccine. As per a data by Chicago Department of Public Health, only 4% of the residents have received the first dose of the vaccine till Sunday.
Infact low vaccination rates exist in areas where the majority of Latino and black population resides.
Racial Disparity In Vaccine Rollout: What Does The Data Analysis Reveal About Chicago?
Even an analysis by the USA TODAY revealed that the vaccination for the Chicago’s black majority areas and Latino zip code areas averaged just 5% in comparison to 13% of majority-white zip code areas.
The four major white zip code areas in Chicago received an average initial vaccination of 20%. On the other hand, the highest rate of vaccination for majority Black and Latino areas is just 12%.
Readers may be shocked to know that Chicago is not alone when it comes to racial disparity in vaccination. Similar trends are available for areas in Washington D.C, Austin, as well as Texas. Even data by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventons showed large scale disparity nationally. Thus, there is a widespread racial disparity for vaccination in the USA.
Many people opine that the possibility of majority white zip code areas may reveal higher vaccination rates because of higher concentration of people in the areas prioritized for the first round of vaccination.
But, as per experts the findings and analysis reflect systematic issues. Poor healthcare infrastructure, distrust for vaccination, and chaotic rollout can be another reason for inequality and disparity in vaccination.
As per a statement by Julie Morita (VP, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) The Health Department was in high pressure for the rollout of vaccination. They have built a system. But, the system was not built in such a way that vaccination can be accessible to everyone equally. The way disproportionate vaccination drive is carried out, its disheartening. There is a high death rate among Black people due to Covid-19.
In a press briefing, Miss Julie Morita also announced plans that can deliver vaccines to community health centers. This way, the vaccine can be accessible to people with maximum ease. She also laid emphasis on the importance of establishing pharmacies for underserved communities.
As per the statement in the press briefing, she said that “equity should be our North Star” in the present circumstances. It is important to establish better structures that can be helpful in connecting with hard-to-reach people across the country.
Chicago has witnessed a high number of deaths among Black population and its high time the regional and racial disparity is taken care of. In a city where two-third population belongs to color, this data seems too unrealistic. But, this is the current reality in Chicago.
Lack of education, non-availability of internet connection, and fear of vaccination are some of the additional reasons for low vaccination in Chicago.
Government has also taken a step under which people who have taken vaccines are posting their vaccination videos on social media platforms. It is also important for the people from the community to reassure people and direct them about the benefits of the vaccine. A collaborative approach from government as well as community as a whole can be helpful in bridging the racial disparity in vaccination.