Of the 41 states that are currently tracking the race of citizens receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, California appears to be doing the best job inoculating people of all races, with 16.8% of its Black residents already vaccinated against the coronavirus.
That number is slightly higher than the total number of people of all races who have been fully vaccinated across the country, which currently stands at approximately 12.3%.
According to data collected by Bloomberg, a total of four states have currently vaccinated more than 15% of their Black population. Massachusetts and Louisiana are currently tied having vaccinated 15.9% of their Black residents. North Carolina is just behind at 15.8%.
“The Bloomberg rankings are based on vaccination data from the 41 states, the District of Columbia and two cities (New York City and Philadelphia) that report race and ethnicity with vaccination data,” reported Colin A. Young of WWLP TV in Springfield, Massachusetts. “Those jurisdictions represent 93.5% of people in the United States and 92% of doses administered so far.”
In analyzing the data they’ve collected so far as part of their vaccine tracking program, Bloomberg said “Our initial findings suggest vaccines are reaching White and Asian populations faster than Black and Hispanic people, though getting a complete picture of nationwide disparities remains a challenge.”
Bloomberg noted there were some disparities due to the vaccine rollout, of which demographic was approved the earliest to receive their first dose, saying, “The elderly are more likely to be White, while the Hispanic population skews young and is less likely to work in hospitals and nursing care, groups targeted in the earliest phases of vaccine distribution.”
“Other disparities are a result of lower uptake rates among certain groups. Some health-care settings have reported that it’s taking longer to build up trust with communities of color, particularly Black people, who are wary of a medical establishment that, for centuries, has ignored and mistreated them,” Bloomberg reported. “Anti-vaxx misinformation campaigns are targeting the already hesitant, including women and Black people. In addition, those with fewer resources may not be able to navigate the notoriously buggy and overloaded online sign-up systems. Meanwhile, others with connections, time and money can snap up open slots.”
In one bit of good news concerning the overall success of the U.S. vaccination program, President Biden has announced “that his administration would reach its initial goal of administering 100 million shots of the COVID-19 vaccines well-ahead of his initial 100-day benchmark,” according to Alana Wise of NPR.
Instead of taking 100 days to hit that milestone, as he originally promised, Biden said his team has achieved its goal of 100 million shots after just 58 days. Still, his push for everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible continues.
“We need millions more to get vaccinated,” he said, encouraging everyone to line up for the shot when it was their turn and to continue precautions like masking and handwashing to limit the spread of the virus.
“We’re going to beat this, we’re way ahead of schedule,” he said. “But we’ve got a long way to go.”