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COVID Vaccine Equity: The Impact of Race, Racism and Mistrust in the Health Care System on Vaccine Hesitancy
January 20, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
As we begin a new year during a global pandemic there are nearly 20.7 million cases of COVID in the U.S. and over 352,000 people have died from the disease. A study of selected states and cities with data on COVID-19 deaths by race and ethnicity showed that 34% of deaths were among non-Hispanic Black people, though this group accounts for only 12% of the total U.S. population. As a result of the disproportionate impact of the disease on Black, Latinx, Native and other communities of color, efforts are underway in Massachusetts and across the country to ensure the equitable distribution of the COVID 19 vaccine.
Promisingly, nationally COVID vaccine hesitancy is improving and now approximately 71% of the public say they are definitely or likely to get vaccinated. Not so promising is that 35% of Black adults say they definitely or probably would not get vaccinated. Over a third of Latinx adults are not confident that the development of a COVID-19 vaccine took their needs into account. Locally, a MassINC Polling survey, sponsored by the Museum of Science, Boston and conducted in partnership with the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, found that 38% of White residents say they will take the vaccine “as soon as possible” compared to 28% of Black residents and 22% of Latinx residents.
The panelists will explore the why hesitancy exists in these populations and discuss strategies to address hesitancy and increase vaccination rates among the most vulnerable populations.
- Wanda McClain, Vice President, Community Health and Health Equity, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Paulette Chandler, MD, MPH, Associate Epidemiologist, Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
- Michael A. Curry, Esq., President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
- Rev. Liz Walker, Senior Pastor, Roxbury Presbyterian Church