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Vaccine Tracker: Racial disparities in vaccination percentages

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 8:15 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - In this edition of the Vaccine Tracker we’re looking at racial disparity in the vaccination process and learning more about a planned vaccination site in Elkhart.

We’ll start with a couple graphs. You see in the first one, the percentages of people fully vaccinated and percentage of those initiating the process with having at least the first dose. This is from Michigan:

Michigan dose disparities  4/6/21
Michigan dose disparities 4/6/21(WNDU)

The white population ahead of other racial groups in getting the vaccine and we’re seeing the same in Indiana. This graph is the total of all vaccines given in Indiana:

Indiana Racial Disparity 4/6/21
Indiana Racial Disparity 4/6/21(WNDU)

There are a number of reasons as to why minorities are experiencing disparities throughout the pandemic and in the vaccination process. This link to an article from the CDC will help explain some of that.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/health-equity/racial-ethnic-disparities/disparities-impact.html

In Michiana, Elkhart is working hard to fight that inequity.

“We do know there is a huge disparity between vaccinations that are being received by people who are white and by people of color,” Corinne Straight-Reed says. She is the Director of Communications with the City of Elkhart. “Percentages in people of color and those communities are much lower. So there are outreach campaigns that we are doing at a local level, the grassroots level, door-to-door, flyers and direct mailers, and there are also some PSA’s that will be airing from the health department and we are partnering with them on that. So both in English and in Spanish.”

According to US Census 2019 data Elkhart’s Hispanic population is around 17%.

The Tolson Center was the site of a state vaccination clinic just a few weeks ago and it will be the site of another clinic by FEMA partnering with the state and local health officials. That site will be up and running April 20-24th. The state department of health tells me the site will do about 500 Pfizer doses per day. This site was chosen as Elkhart has one of the highest Social Vulnerability Index scores in the state:

Elkhart SVI Score 4/6/21
Elkhart SVI Score 4/6/21(WNDU)

Here’s a website for more information on the Social Vulnerability Index: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/placeandhealth/svi/index.html

You can sign up for that vaccination clinic right now on ourshot.in.gov as there are appointments still available.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on the vaccination rollout, and I want to hear from you. Email me at zach.horner@wndu.com or find me on Facebook and send a message if you have an issue or idea of something we can dig into on the Vaccine Tracker.

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