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ADPH data shows racial disparities in COVID vaccine rollout

Most people getting the COVID vaccine right now are elderly, but trends show less people of color are getting the vaccine compared to white people.
Credit: WZDX
There are racial disparities within vaccine rollout

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Vaccines have been put into people's arms throughout Alabama for two months now.

"We've been able to vaccinate patients, not only in Jefferson County but really from all over the state of Alabama," said Dr. Sarah Nafziger, M.D., Vice President for Clinical Services at UAB. 

The data shows an interesting trend. Most of the people receiving the vaccine are white and only about 21% of the African American community have received theirs, with even lower percentages for other minority groups. 

"About 7% to Asians, about 3% to Hispanic or Latino individuals and 67% to white. There's a remainder that's for people who are either in the other or unknown category," said Nafziger.

RELATED: Racial disparities in vaccine rollout numbers: AL Dept. of Public Health explains data, plans to improve

Although the numbers show some disparities, officials say giving equal opportunity to receive the vaccine to every race and ethnicity is important. 

"We wanna make sure that equity is something that we're thinking about in our vaccine distribution, that's at the front of our minds from day one when we started our vaccine rollout. We wanted to make sure we're reaching all the different people who need vaccine," said Nafziger. 

COVID-19 is hitting minorities harder, with high death rates in African American, Native American and Latinx communities.

"We just know there's something we don't understand that makes COVID disproportionately affect some of these minority populations," said Nafziger. 

RELATED: There is a particular concern among the African American community about the vaccine

Some of the lower percentages of minorities receiving the vaccine is due to vaccine hesitancy, but there are some things that can be done to combat that.

"Some of the minority communities we still had encountered pockets of more vaccine hesitancy," said Nafziger. 

Education is key when it comes to battling vaccine hesitancy. Luckily, UAB and three other groups have been hosting virtual covid info sessions. There are two more opportunities to sit in on one during the next couple of weeks. More information about these info sessions is available at the related link below. 

RELATED: Alabama NAACP hosts online information, Q&A sessions about COVID vaccines

"And after we have an opportunity to share that information and try to be transparent, many people do elect to go ahead and receive the vaccine," said Nafziger.