Vaccine hesitancy has been a common topic of conversation. Especially as we’re now at the stage where any Floridian 16 and older has access to a COVID-19 vaccine. From the onset of the vaccine rollout, hesitancy was always highest with minorities. A new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that remains the case based on who has actually been vaccinated.
The Foundation’s most recent study, factoring all reported vaccinations through April 12th, revealed that in Florida based on population, Asians and Whites have been 7% more likely to be vaccinated. Hispanics are 22% less likely to be vaccinated and Blacks are 50% less likely to be vaccinated. This isn’t atypical.
Data show Blacks are less likely to be vaccinated in all states except Utah and West Virginia with Hispanics less likely to be vaccinated in all states except Arkansas and Missouri. Clearly, vaccine hesitancy based on cultural differences and concerns remains a huge consideration as we enter the final phase of the initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout. With vaccine demand generally outstripping supply until now, these concerns have been secondary considerations.
As supply meets and exceeds demand, it’ll likely come into focus to a greater degree. Much has been made of herd immunity occurring north of 70% who are vaccinated. Given that many communities are largely comprised of demographically similar people, it’s possible we may soon reach herd immunity levels in Asian/White predominant neighborhoods through Florida while being nowhere near it in predominantly Black and Hispanic communities.
Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz has increasingly been discussing the need to continue to make progress with minority acceptance. This data illustrates just how vast the demographic differences really are in Florida.
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