Recently, U.S. media reported that the death rate of COVID-19 among African-Americans is higher than that of whites, but the rate of vaccination against the novel coronavirus is lower than that of whites.
This phenomenon once again highlights the systemic racism problem in the United States.
New York has the lowest vaccination rate among African and Latino residents.
According to the New York Times on February 1, African-American and Latino residents in New York City have died twice as much from COVID-19 since the outbreak.
These people are at greater risk of infection because they work or live in crowded housing, are more likely than white people to have basic diseases that increase their chance of infection, and have less access to health insurance.
But for now, African and Latino residents have the lowest vaccination rates, “outside from a white and rich-first system”.
On the 1st, the latest data on vaccine distribution showed that 48% of New York City residents who had at least one dose of vaccine and had a racial record were white, 15% were Latino, and 11% were African.
Whites make up 32% of the city’s population, 29% are Latinos, and 24% are Africans. Available data also show that New York City has more people vaccinated non-residents than the Afro-American, Latino- and Native-American population living in the city combined.
The report said that because many non-municipal inoculation sites did not report the ethnicity of the vaccination population, the above data did not cover the situation of all vaccination groups.
But public health experts believe that the data they have shown by race shows clear and worrying trends.
To date, New York State has provided vaccinations for people 65 and older, health care workers, and workers in key industries, including teachers, firefighters, and public transportation workers.
Although there are exceptions, most of these groups are white.
In addition, some African and Latino residents who are eligible for vaccination cannot be vaccinated.
A major obstacle is that New York State makes an appointment for vaccination through the Internet system, but in New York City alone, half a million households do not have access to the Internet.
Because of the limited availability of vaccines, New York residents living in poverty have to compete with wealthy residents with time, resources and network technology capabilities to compete for vaccines.
The New York Times quoted Mary Bassett, a former New York City health official, saying, “The people who are now able to get vaccinated are privileged people, and these people are not at the highest risk of illness and death.
This problem must be solved.
This inequality cannot be tolerated
Not only in the New York area, but the long-standing systemic racism in the United States is also reflected in vaccination in other regions.
The Washington Post said on the 1st that African-Americans in the United States have one of the highest death rates from the novel coronavirus, with one in 735 African-Americans dying from the disease and one in 1,030 whites.
Early data from 23 states showed that whites had three times higher vaccination rates than those of African descent. This injustice is intolerable.
The article said that considering that long-standing racism has caused widespread distrust of the health care system of people of African descent, it is not enough to set up vaccination sites in communities of African descent alone.
The article believes that the coronavirus epidemic has made people understand the harm caused by systemic racism to people of African descent.
If urgent action is not taken, the racial health inequality caused by the disease will only worsen.