Vaccine equity and confidence discussion for black, Latino Americans

Woman receives her COVID-19 vaccine.
Woman receives her COVID-19 vaccine.(Jerome Delay | AP)
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 5:56 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - On Friday, April 16, 2021, Lt. Governor Kate Marshall and Connecticut Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz held a virtual panel discussion on the resources needed to ensure equitable allocation, distribution, and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“This pandemic has shed light on the prevalent impacts of social and structural injustices in our society,” Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz said.

It’s been said that the rollout of the vaccine has not been equitable in serving the communities that are most affected by this Coronavirus, including LatinX and people of color.

“There are many many challenges in terms of internet access, language barriers, transportation issues, all those things,” Dr. Erika Marquez with the Nevada Vaccine Equity Collaborative with Immunize Nevada said.

These barriers, unfortunately, result in black and Latino Americans being vaccinated at lower rates.

“It’s really difficult to understand how a community that has been so disproportionately impacted by COVID could still be so hesitant to take the vaccine,” said Tina Dortch with the Nevada Office of Minority Health and Equity.

Leaders are making it a priority to make access to the shot easier for all with pop-up or micro-vaccine centers, translators on-site, appointments on weekends, and more.

“Vaccines are so important, not just because of the person who gets vaccinated, but because of all the other people in our community who are protected by that,” Lt. Gov. Marshall said.

There’s still a lot of work to be done. Lt. Gov. Marshall and other medical professionals and leaders in the panel said this is an ongoing conversation that will hopefully help continue to create equity in vaccination.

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