- If vaccine intake among black Americans were doubled starting in April, the gap between them and white people would have narrowed, new study finds
- Researchers model COVID-19 vaccine rollout in different ethnic groups from April 2021 onwards
- They found that with the standard rate of vaccine, black Americans would not reach 50% vaccine coverage until two months after white ones.
- If targeted vaccine access doubles the vaccine rate among black people, however, the gap could close by just two weeks.
Targeted COVID-19 vaccine outreach to black and Hispanic adults could help bridge the gap between communities of color and white people, finds a new study.
Researchers at Stanford University in California created three models to project how different communities would have had different levels of Covid vaccine rollout.
In the model in which the vaccine rollout continues at the pace it was already running, 50 percent of white American adults will get at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine two months before black and Hispanic Americans reach that marker. will receive.
In the model where vaccine rates were doubled for minority groups because of targeted access, that margin is reduced to just two weeks, highlighting the need for more specialized forms of outreach.
Researchers found that if vaccine disparity by race continued beyond April 2021, it would take an additional two months for black Americans to reach 50% vaccine coverage compared to white and Asian Americans (left). With targeted access, vaccine take rates could be doubled, and the time difference reduced to just two weeks (right)
Black and Hispanic Americans faced some additional hurdles in getting the COVID-19 vaccine, such as scheduling and transportation issues. Many black Americans are also suspicious of shots because of a history of mediocre misconduct in the US Image: A Hispanic woman in Miami, Florida, receives the COVID-19 vaccine
The disparity in immunization between black and Hispanic adults observed in this study highlights the urgent need to invest in policies and interventions to promote vaccine equity.
‘Our results additionally demonstrate the benefits of location-based targeting of vaccination promotion efforts.’
The researchers, who published their findings on Wednesday jama network open, created three different models for the study.
The first was the ‘Persistent Differential Uptake’ model, where the disparity in vaccine uptake between racial groups would continue to exist in April 2021.
In this model, Asian and White Americans reached 50 percent vaccine coverage sometime in mid-April.
Hispanic Americans would not reach that point until early May, and black Americans were far behind, not reaching that mark until mid-June – two months after white and Asian Americans.
The second model created by the Stanford team equated the uptake from April onward – assuming that an equal portion of each racial group would be vaccinated.
In this model, white and Asian Americans reach 50 percent vaccine coverage by early April and Hispanic Americans about three weeks later by the end of the month.
Black Americans still lag behind in this model, however, not reaching the 50 percentage mark until mid-May.
The third and final model assumed that geographic targeting in some communities would lag behind others in terms of vaccination.
In this scenario, increased access doubles vaccine uptake in black and Hispanic communities, and the assumption that some of the existing barriers to getting the vaccine are removed.
White and Asian Americans still reach 50 percent in early April, as targeted access has little impact on their vaccination rates.
However, it has a huge impact on the vaccination rates of black and Hispanic people.
Hispanic Americans reach the 50 percentage point in mid-April, and black Americans reach that point in late April – within two weeks of white people reaching that point.
Researchers believe these results explain why vaccine access needs to be targeted more at groups that lag behind others.
Racial disparities in US health care have been in the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic, with black and Hispanic Americans hit hard by the virus and even less likely to get a COVID-19 shot when it is available.
are black americans most likely to encounter obstacles From transportation and scheduling difficulties to getting Covid shots.
A study published in June found that in major cities such as New York City, vaccination sites were primarily concentrated in white neighborhoods rather than areas where black people lived.
The history of the US government has also raised suspicion of the vaccine among some black Americans. dangerously tested drug upon them without their consent.
Targeted efforts to make vaccines more readily available in these communities can help address these shortcomings and alleviate some of these issues.