New questions about racial disparity among those vaccinated in U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — New data shows a national disparity when it comes to people of color receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Researchers say white people are getting shots at a dramatically higher rate than other groups.

Samantha Artiga, with the Kaiser Family Foundation, found the racial breakdown of the vaccine distribution consistent in 16 states.

“In particular, black and Hispanic people have received smaller shares of vaccination, compared to accounting for disproportionate shares of cases and deaths in many states,” said Artiga.

In Florida, Artiga said early data showed 76% of the people who had been vaccinated were white while fewer than 6% were black.

Leaders in New York City say a vaccination site in a Latino neighborhood saw an overwhelming number of white people from outside the community show up to get the shot earlier this month.

“It is outrageous! The more I learn about this, the angrier I get,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Experts say racial barriers and unequal access to health care are some of the reasons for the difference.

“It also will be important to ensure that people are receiving clear information about how and where they can access the vaccine, and that they are receiving information that directly addresses any concerns they may have,” said Artiga.

Federal researchers point out racial data is missing for some people who received the vaccine in the first month.