State data shows Black Alabamians are underrepresented among those who have been vaccinated

Only 11 percent of vaccines have gone to African-Americans in Alabama as of February 11, 2021, according to data from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Posted: Feb 12, 2021 12:19 AM

As more residents across the State of Alabama are receiving the vaccine, it appears that a disproportionately small number of Black Alabama residents are receiving the vaccine, according to data released from the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

African-Americans make up about 26.8 percent of the state's population and account for 27.9 percent of all COVID-related deaths and account for 21.03 percent of cases.

When it comes to vaccine distribution though, Black Alabamians have only received 11 percent of vaccines administered. 

That's compared to the White population, which accounts for 54.7 percent of all those vaccinate, while representing 69.1 percent of the state's population. 54.7 percent of all vaccines went to this group.

The second largest group of people, those for whom racial data was not collected, represents 29.2 percent of all vaccinations. 

"Unfortunately, the word that comes to mind is 'inequities,' which has kind of been the word that has been discussed since the very beginning of this pandemic," said Del Smith, co-founder of Acclinate, which helps connect typically under-served communities with good medical information.

Even before the pandemic, Smith and his team have been working on way to appear as though. He said getting to see the numbers of who is getting the vaccine is difficult.

"The data shows us that the very populations that are being impacted the most by this particular virus are the populations that are least likely to either have access to or are choosing to get vaccinated," Smith said.

Smith said he hopes that as the state collects suggestions for how best to reach people, that they address the issue of access to medical knowledge is needed, in addition to addressing vaccine trepidation.

"You have issues of access and distribution. And so, particularly in rural communities and under served communities, they don't have the same level of hospitals and healthcare providers to be able to even get access to the vaccine."

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