Groups Strategize COVID-19 Vaccine Access for People of Color

Carolyn Crist

January 19, 2021

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

Groups nationwide are looking for ways to secure coronavirus vaccines for people of color who have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic, according to USA Today.

States that rank highly on COVID-19 vulnerability indexes, in particular, have fallen behind on vaccinations for high-risk groups that need them most.

In Nevada, for instance, several nonprofits focused on specific racial and ethnic groups created the One Community Campaign to educate at-risk groups about COVID-19 and vaccines.

One of the nonprofits — the Arriba Las Vegas Workers Center — supports Latino domestic workers and laborers. Throughout the pandemic, the group has taught workers how to protect themselves from the virus. Now the group is helping workers make vaccination appointments.

"To be able to make an appointment for the vaccine right now, you need to have a computer, you need to have internet in your home.You need to be comfortable scanning a copy of your identification and uploading it," Bliss Requa-Trautz, executive director of the group, told USA Today.

Online registration sites don't have instructions for Spanish-speaking community members, she said, creating an additional challenge.

"That's probably going to be an indicator of what initial data is going to look like in terms of who is accessing or not," she said.

States that rank highly on vulnerability indexes — such as Alabama, Florida and Georgia — haven't administered as many of their distributed vaccines as other states. In Florida, about 250,000 white people have received a first dose, as compared with 27,000 Black people, USA Today reported.

Black churches in Florida are coming together to encourage vaccine efforts. The Statewide Coronavirus Vaccination Community Education and Engagement Task Force is trying to work with the Florida Department of Health to set up 40 vaccination sites at Black churches, community centers and the state's four Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

"The whole idea of the task force on a statewide level is to make sure African Americans and other minorities will not be left behind as they continue to roll out the vaccines,"Rev. R.B. Holmes, Jr., the chairman of the task force, told USA Today.

Source

USA Today, "Amid access hurdles, grassroots efforts underway to get COVID-19 vaccine to at-risk people of color."

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