Vaccine rollout won’t be equitable unless health care reckons with racism

Vaccine rollout won’t be equitable unless health care reckons with racism


Dr. Michelle Chester, right, rolls up the sleeve of Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, before she is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, December 14th, 2020. Lindsay was one of the first people in the United States to get a dose of the newly authorized vaccine. | Photo by Mark Lennihan / Pool / Getty Images

The pandemic has been anything but “the great equalizer” that some people called it when it started more than a year ago. Here in the US, COVID-19 has sickened and killed a disproportionate number of Black, Native American, and Latinx people. Vaccine rollout is proving to be inequitable, too. Black and Latinx elders in Los Angeles, for example, have been vaccinated at a lower rate than their white and Asian American counterparts.

Distrust in vaccines has been a challenge across the board. But Black Americans were less inclined than other racial and ethnic groups to want to get vaccinated, according to a Pew Research Center survey from December. To fix a system that isn’t fully serving Black Americans and other people of color, “There…

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