The Community Can Deliver A Better COVID-19 Message Than Health Officials

The missteps in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution were predictable.

How could anyone expect better from a broken health care system riddled with barriers for people of color due to deeply rooted structural racism and bias?

For nearly a year, it’s been widely reported how the pandemic is disproportionately affecting Black and Brown communities across the country. Although Hispanics-Latinos make up a small fraction of the U.S. population, they account for an unfairly large proportion of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

In Chicago, the Hispanic-Latino community is being affected by COVID-19 more than any other group, with more than 85,000 confirmed cases and in excess of 1,600 deaths.

As the disease has unfolded, the Hispanic-Latino community has been put more at risk because many live in multi-generational homes with limited space; many are essential workers in businesses with a higher likelihood of being exposed; and many experience unequal treatment in the health care system.

So, it should not have been a surprise that, when the vaccine was finally made available, Hispanics-Latinos were once again left out. And while the federal government provided guidance on which groups to prioritize for vaccination, it left it up to the states to determine who got to the front of the line.

Full story in The Chicago Reporter

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