Nambi Ndugga Follow @nambinjn on Twitter , Olivia Pham , Latoya Hill Follow @hill_latoya on Twitter , Samantha Artiga Follow @SArtiga2 on Twitter , and Noah Parker Published: Jul 08, 2021
As of July 4, the country was just shy of reaching President Biden’s goal of having at least 70% of adults vaccinated with one or more doses of the COVD-19 vaccine, with 67% of the population 18 years of age or older receiving at least one dose according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While this represents a marked achievement and is leading to steep declines in COVID-19 cases and deaths, vaccination coverage—and the protections provided by it—remains uneven across the country. In particular, Black and Hispanic people have had persistently lower rates of vaccination compared to their White counterparts across most states. These lower vaccination rates leave Black and Hispanic people at increased risk for infection, illness, and death, particularly as new variants, like the Delta variant, spread.
Reaching high vaccination rates across individuals and communities will be key for achieving broad protection through a vaccine, mitigating the disproportionate impacts of the virus for people of color, and preventing widening racial health disparities going forward. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that vaccine equity is an important goal and defined equity as preferential access and administration to those who have been most affected by COVID-19.