Vaccination rate increases among minorities

Health experts, community leaders say it’s a move in the right direction, but there’s still work to be done
(Source: Gray TV file photo)
(Source: Gray TV file photo)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 4:18 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2021 at 10:10 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — The number of COVID-19 vaccinations among people of color is increasing at a faster pace than the vaccination rates seen in other population groups.

In the past two weeks, 15% of all vaccine doses have been administered to Black people; that number was 11% in January.

That means the racial gap among the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated is narrowing.

Adults from racial and ethnic minorities and low-income groups were disproportionately affected by vaccine-preventable diseases long before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. That’s the reason that reducing racial/ethnic disparities in immunization rates, including COVID-19 vaccine rates, continues to be a compelling public health goal, according to a study on racial and ethnic disparities in vaccination coverage among adults in the U.S.

Health experts say the recent of increase in COVID-19 vaccinations among people of color is a move in the right direction.

“The Delta variant, I think, has gotten some people’s attention,” said Shelley Rainey, vaccine coordinator for Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport. “I have personally had more people reach out to me asking about vaccination.

“It’s gotten people’s attention. And our numbers are now up to about 225-250 a day; so we’re back on the upswing in the right direction.”

With the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations increasing at a record pace, there’s still work to be done.

Galilee Missionary Baptist Church has hosted testing and vaccinations since the beginning of the pandemic. Pastor Brian Wilson said his congregation and the community are responding to those efforts.

“Recognize how much damage it has done to our community as far as deaths. Also to seriously consider and weigh the options, how much of a risk are we taking by not getting vaccinated?

Shawn Boston, CEO of Bossman Barber School, encourages members of the Black community to educate themselves about COVID-19.

“We’ve been talking about just get informed, get information because you hear good stories and bad stories. And now it’s a person’s choice,” Boston added.

Community leaders say they will continue to encourage people to get vaccinated and advocate for them to be safe.

“We’re working hard, and we are truly scared for all these people that come through here that are positive and then they are scared,” Rainey said. “So just do your best to protect your loved one and your community.

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