After the Dallas County Commissioners Court opted to prioritize Black, Latino, and other vulnerable communities in vaccination distribution, the state of Texas threatened to pull vaccines from the county altogether.
A Thursday report by the Texas Tribune revealed the Commissioners identified 11 priority zip codes for those who meet the state’s vaccinations eligibility. The zip codes represented the most vulnerable to COVID-19 including Black and Latino neighborhoods.
Upon learning, Texas state officials threatened to pull the county’s entire supply leading the county to abandon the new equity plan.
According to the Dallas Morning News, data released by the county showed most of the vaccinations to date have gone to people in primarily white, wealthy neighborhoods. Even the Fair Park vaccination site, located within the 11 zip code target area, had vaccinated more people from outside the area than surrounding communities.
Black and Latino communities have borne the brunt of the pandemic since the beginning and now disparities in testing and vaccination distribution raise concerns of racial equity. Data reviewed by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) showed Black and Latino people received vaccinations at a smaller rate than their share of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Information provided by the state of Texas revealed Black people only make up 7.6 percent of those vaccinated, but account for 18.6 percent of COVID-19 cases and 9.7 percent of COVID-19 deaths.
Last month the KFF released a report emphasizing the need for equity considerations in the vaccine distribution process. “The data and research also suggest that it will be important for providers, officials, and institutions to proactively work to earn trust with individuals and communities and directly address safety and other concerns, recognizing historic and ongoing racism and discrimination within the health care system and that some people may not want to be prioritized to receive the vaccine when it initially becomes available,” reads the report.
Barriers to access, including lack of health insurance, coupled with discrimination within the health care system is an ongoing problem. But addressing these issues should not fall on the shoulders of underserved communities. Instead medical and public health officials should burden the heavy lifting in order to provide better care for the communities they routinely fail.
Anoa Changa is a movement journalist and retired attorney based in Atlanta, Georgia. Follow Anoa on Instagram and Twitter @thewaywithanoa.
Children In Black And Latino Households More Likely To Experience Hardships Due To COVID-19
How To Counter COVID-19 Vaccine Skepticism. First, Acknowledge It Exists
Jacky Oh, Mother Of DC Young Fly's Children, Dies Following Plastic Surgery: Report
Mother Of Teen In Citi Bike Video Speaks Out: ‘No One Bothered To Ask Him What Happened’
Heart In Your Hands: Important Lifestyle Changes For Heart Failure Recovery
Plastic Surgeon Linked To Jacky Oh Is 'Liposuction & BBL Specialist' With Negative Online Reviews
Diagnosed With Painful Nerve Condition, Shaun King Asks For Help Paying For Medical Procedures
GoFundMe Started To Help Family Of Teen In 'Citi Bike Karen' Viral Incident
Tweets Link Florida Parent At Center Of School Book Ban To White Supremacists, Far-Right Extremists
GoFundMe Surges For Teen In 'Citi Bike Karen' Incident