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State: Black people only account for 3.7% of those vaccinated for COVID-19 so far

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 5:21 AM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 05:21:24-05

(WXYZ) — The State of Michigan said only Black people account for only 3.7% those who received a COVID-19 vaccine so far.

Related: AP Analysis: Racial disparity seen in US vaccination drive

On Tuesday, the state began reporting race data on the COVID-19 dashboard to help track equity when it comes to protection from the virus.

“Ensuring those who are most vulnerable are protected by the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is a high priority for Michigan,” MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said in a release. “Black and Brown communities have been disproportionately affected by the virus,and improving the race and ethnicity data being collected for vaccinations is critical for ensuring the equitable administration of the vaccine. We will use this data to continue to drive our strategy towards making sure everyone has equitable access to the vaccines.”

Related: Data shows white people getting vaccinated at higher rates than Blacks and Hispanics in U.S.

As of Monday, 1,252,497 Michiganders have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but 547,163 did not have their race information recorded. The MDHHS is working to increase the percentage of those who had their race recorded, which is at 56% right now.

Data on race collected during the vaccination period found:

  • 43.7% are unknown.
  • 41.7% are white.
  • 9.5% are listed as other.
  • 3.7% are Black.
  • 1.1% are Asian or Pacific Islander.
  • 0.3% are American Indian/Alaskan Native race.

“We urge Michiganders to fill out race data questions on forms when they get their vaccine,” Khaldun added. “Knowing this information helps guide the state’s strategy and allows us to address any gaps as we move forward getting Michiganders protected from the virus.”

Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist is leading the COVID-19 Task Force on Racial Disparities, which is working to address fears, concerns, questions and apprehensions in minority communities throughout the state.

Gilchrist said that past large-scale medical interventions have left a bad impression on communities of color, particularly for Black people, but the vaccine is key to helping fight back the virus.

Black people have been affected more from COVID-19 in Michigan than others, with their case rate being 40% higher in Michigan than white residents and the death rate three times the rate in white residents, according to the state.

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