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COVID Vaccine: Distribution Racial Disparity Stretches Well Beyond New York City's Borders

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- COVID-19 vaccine appointments were cancelled Monday and Tuesday in the city due to the massive snowstorm socking the entire Northeast.

Meanwhile, new data shows many in the hardest-hit communities have no intentions of getting the vaccine in the first place.

CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas has more on how leaders across the Tri-State Area are addressing residents' concerns.

"We have the information that we need to take action today," New York City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said.


After weeks of promises pledging equity would be at the center of the vaccine distribution efforts, new data shows the plan is not working.

MOREMayor De Blasio Acknowledges Racial Disparities In New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Of those that have received the vaccine in the city, only 15% are Latino and 11% are Black. That's compared to the 48% who have received it who are white.

It's a large divide when considering each group's share of the population.

"If we get a bigger supply, I think that's the single biggest difference maker. Because what that means is in communities all over the city, people start to know more and more people in their life who have gotten vaccinated," de Blasio said.


It's a concern across the Tri-State Area.

"Black and brown, 60, 65, 75, are much more likely to get infected, much more likely to suffer complications," Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.

MOREGov. Lamont Urges Pres. Biden To 'Give Us Some Transparency' On Vaccines

In New Jersey, only 3% of vaccine recipients have been Black and 5% have been Hispanic or Latinx.

"Some of the efforts that have been made to get people to get vaccinated are not necessarily as accessible to underserved populations," said Dr. Denise Rodgers, of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.

Rodgers serves on New Jersey's Minority and Multicultural Health Advisory Commission, which is addressing the issue.

"How do we not only bring vaccines to people in the community, but also how do we get trusted leaders from the community to advocate," Rodgers said.

MORE'It's A Literal Race Against The Virus': Carbon Health's Dr. Caesar Djavaherian On COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

The hesitancy is rooted in long-standing distrust of the medical community, which could have a deadly impact in already hard-hit communities like Queens.

"We saw individuals of color from our communities getting it, so we're going to have to do a lot of that and I'm going to have to even pull my sleeve up and get a shot in the arm to build that trust," Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said.

It's a race to get buy-in, as the virus shows no signs of slowing down.


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