Vaccine Hesitancy in Communities of Color Eases — A Bit

In a statement to WebMD, Katie Fowlie, spokesperson for CDC public affairs, said:

“It is important to know that the vaccine administration process is complex and requires strong cooperation and partnership with all parties at the jurisdictional, local and federal levels. The CDC works closely with jurisdictions to ensure that as much information as possible is submitted and provides regular feedback to states on data quality.

The CDC, she said, provides weekly summaries that highlight priority issues and shares strategies to address specific issues, “including the completeness of data reporting on race, ethnicity and status. county of residence. This has resulted in improvements in the reporting of these data elements in several jurisdictions. “

Benjamin thinks the main failure has been not doing things fairly.

“When we structured our immunization plans, we didn’t put equity first,” he says. “The Biden administration started doing it for sure, but we knew this was going to be a problem last fall and yet we didn’t think about – us, I mean the universal us – n ‘Didn’t think about the fact that how are we going to get communities of color, especially African Americans who seemed the most hesitant at the time, to get them vaccinated? ”

In the end, he says, “we focused a lot on the reluctance problem and not enough on the structural problem, and yet we always knew the structural problem was there. “

These issues include access to the Internet and a computer to book online appointments, “and yet that’s exactly how we decided to get people to sign up from the start. And it created a structural injustice to begin with. “

Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, chair of the White House COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, says that while the data is not complete, progress has been made.

“There has certainly been an improvement since January in the quality of the data we have on race and ethnicity, and it’s important to note that, but it’s still not where it really needs to be,” says -it.

“We didn’t let the fact that we didn’t have complete data stop us from designing a campaign focused on equity and ensuring that federal immunization channels were going to be located in neighborhoods and communities that have. been the hardest hit and at the highest risk, and these initiatives were successful in achieving their goal.

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