Watch CBS News

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

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Vaccination demographic information released Sunday by New York City reveals disparities and inequities Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted as unacceptable while also attempting to explain them.

"What we see is a particularly pronounced reality of many more people from white communities getting vaccinations than folks from Black and Latino communities," de Blasio said.


Of all the people vaccinated in the city so far, 48% have been white, but whites make up 42% of the Big Apple's population, CBS2's Dave Carlin reported.

That's compared to 11% of those vaccinated in the Black community, which makes up 24% of the population.

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

For Latinos, 15% have been vaccinated. That group makes up 29% of the city's population.

"We've got a problem of privilege, clearly, where folks who have been privileged have been able to access the testing in some ways with greater ease," de Blasio said.


The mayor said there is vaccine distrust among minority communities. To improve access for all, he announced a re-tooling of the scheduling websites, with more languages included.

De Blasio also wants to address about 40% of vaccine recipients providing no racial data.

MORENew York State Lawmakers Calling For Prisoners To Receive Immediate Access To COVID Vaccines

Some chaos and frustration persist due to vaccination appointments that have been canceled and denied even for those who are eligible.

"When I went to the place to get the shot, they refused to give it to me, and I think I was entitled to it," Ramona Schoen said.

"And my 92-year-old mother who is an ex-New York state teacher cannot get her shots. It's just a shame that our system is working this way," Marc Schoen said.

MORECertain 9/11 First Responders With Preexisting Conditions Still Ineligible For COVID Vaccine In New York

"I don't want anybody else to go through this," Ramona Schoen added.

Ramona Schoen is now in limbo, as city and state leaders admit they can and must do better.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.