- Over 50% Hope ‘in the dark’ for Vaccines
For black Americans in New York, coronavirus now resurfaces at three times deadly the state average in their neighbourhood. Their brothers, sisters, family members and relatives are being killed more than in the early days of the pandemic. Their immunity to fight back is weak and help seems far beyond even when it is now near. This is not a prose but the untold story of black Americans and the pandemic in numbers. Excerpt.
“Black health should really matter now” said Marian Brooks – as New York now returns to covid-19 and the enormous toll it’s taking on people of color.
Brooks is a community health official with African Health Coalition – a non-profit organisation based in New York City. She is worried that black and communities of color may not get early access to covid vaccines in the state.
She is calling on the state government to adopt a holistic approach in the distribution of the covid19 vaccines stating that communities of color would need the vaccines as soon as they are available in the state because of the enormous death toll among the people.
“If the black communities are disenfranchised in getting access to covid-19 tests, hospitalisation, and personal protection equipment your guess is as good as mine on what is likely to happen when the vaccine is made available to the state.
“As soon as the vaccines are going to be out there, who’s going to be the first set of people to get them?.
I really want the government to know that black health really matters and should not formulate a policy that would deprive nor restrict people of color from getting access to the vaccines without delay.”
Brooks added criticisms of policy. “Any policy that is against the black community in getting early access to covid-19 vaccine in spite of the disproportionate effects that the covid-19 pandemic had had on the community is not healthy for the state.
“The black communities make up about 26% of the population in New York City, and account for over 44% death from the coronavirus pandemic. Data rolled out by both government and private health officials since early into the pandemic and till now that the virus resurfaces are indications that infection and mortality rate is most among the people of color. I want goverment not to discountenace those reports.”
New York has reported race and ethnicity data for 0% of cases and 90% of death. But the virus now kills black and Latino people in the metropolitan state at nearly three times the rate it is killing the white people, latest data from Covid Tracking Project reveals.
According to the data, the death rate for black American in the city is about 284 people per 100,00; and the rate for the Latino population is 222 per 100,000. For the Asian/ pacidic islander it is 134 per 100,000 and the white people with the lowest the record of 97 per 100,000 people.
Those disparity numbers were scaled by the total number of each group living in the state by the collaborative volunteer-run effort to track the ongoing covid-19 pandemic in the United States. Every day, the independent research group compiles the latest numbers on tests, cases, hospitalisations, and patient outcomes from US state and territory.
Nationwide, in the United State, through the first week of December, Native Hawalians/Pacific Islanders were most likely to have the highest number of covid-19 with 5,295 cases per 100,000 people. The covid-19 Tracking Project revealed that American Indian/ Alaska Native followed as the second most likely to have contracted the virus with 4,373 cases per 100,00 people. Third on the order of infection cases by race and ethnicity data was the Latino group with 3,365 cases per 100 thousand people.
For black Americans, despite having the likelihood of 3,091 infection cases per 100,000 people, the group nationwide has the highest likelihood of mortality rates with 116 per every 100,000 people. The black people rates overtly doubled the likelihood at which white people died at 59 per 100,000 people. The virus also kills black Americans three times more than the Asian people which has the lowest covid-19 infection record of 1,353 in every 100 thousand cases and a death rates of 59 per 100,000 in the country.
“Yes, the disparity reflected longstanding and persistent economic inequalities and differences in access to health care in the state,” said Larry James in a media chat. Mr. James has been a frontrunner in Black Health Matters – a platform that provides information about health and well-being from a service-oriented perspective-with lots of upbeat, positive solutions and tips, including health among others.
The Black Health Matters official had reasons to link the rate of the covid-19 death to the health history of the balck community in United States. “There have been clear inequalities,and clear disparities in how this disease is affecting people of our city. The truth is that in so many ways the negative effects of coronavirus — the pain it’s causing, the death it’s causing — tracks with other profound health care disparities that we have seen for years and decades,”
He was also of the view that the chances of people of colour getting first hand of covid-19 vaccines in New York should be broadened stating that “the vaccine should be distributed down to the poor of the poor neighborhoods and this means the government have to put in place effective and efficient distribution networks.
“There are lots of undocumented people in this community and I strongly feel if there are less data requirements such as proof of identities such as – Social Secuirty Number- passport number or drivers licence this would help people in the neighbouhood to get access to the vaccines.
“I am afraid though how this is going to work out because I understand the federal government’s position, this however puts a save our soul call on the state government to defend people that don’t have those types of identifying numbers. Once enough people receive effective vaccines against the novel coronavirus, the end of the pandemic may be in sight.”
Though the state government had said about one hundred and seventy thousand (170,000) first batch doses for coronavirus vaccines would be delivered to the state by the 15th of December but had explained that the doses would not be made available for people until summer in 2021.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo had reportedly noted that efforts were underway to ensure the vaccines once delivered are stored safe before being made available. “It will be expensive to distribute, store, deliver, and provide a vaccine, and the federal government is putting the burden on the states, which have received little to no funding, and are already facing budget cuts on essential services,” he said.
About 58% of older adults aged 50-80 are high risk individuals in the priority groups for covid-19 vaccines in New York – The results from a new poll conducted by University of Michigan on Healthy Aging also identified individuals who work directly with the public in healthcare and other professions, people with underlying health conditions and weak immune systems as possible priority groups