COVID-19 Justice

New data shows disparities in vaccination rates

White people are getting vaccinated at twice the rate of minorities, according to new data released by the state.

Black residents in Michigan are about half as likely to have been vaccinated against COVID-19 as their white counterparts. That’s according to newly released data from the state’s Department of Health and Community Services (MDHHS).

What Happened: For the first time, Michigan’s vaccine dashboard is reporting vaccination data based on race. The numbers paint an unfortunate, though not unexpected, picture.

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The numbers show that, as of Monday, 8% of white people have received at least the first dose of the vaccine. Meanwhile, only 4% of Black residents have been inoculated.

The data collected is less than ideal. For example, the state doesn’t have race data for a large portion of the people who have been vaccinated. Race is listed as “unknown” for 43% of the people who have received the first dose of the vaccine.

But the data that is there indicates that vaccines are not being administered equitably across the state. That’s despite the fact that Black people make up a larger proportion of COVID deaths than other groups.

Why Is It Happening: There are many theories for why Black people aren’t being inoculated at the same rate as white people.

Vaccination clinics are less likely to be held in predominantly Black areas. Vaccine information is also less likely to make it out to Black people. Of course, past mistreatment of Black people in the name of science has led many to view new vaccines with suspicion.

Michigan is hardly unique in disparate access to the vaccines. As many as 34 states have similar outcomes to their vaccination programs, according the health policy organization KFF.

You can read the full story on Bridge Michigan.

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