Black and Latino Americans are receiving the Covid-19 vaccine at significantly lower rates than White Americans — a disparity that health advocates blame on the federal government and hospitals not prioritizing equitable access.
A CNN analysis of data from 14 states found vaccine coverage is twice as high among White people on average than it is among Black and Latino people.
The analysis found that on average, more than 4% of the White population has received a Covid-19 vaccine, about 2.3 times higher than the Black population (1.9% covered) and 2.6 times higher than the Hispanic population (1.8% covered).
Black and Latino Americans are already dying of Covid-19 at three times the rate of White people and being hospitalized at a rate four times higher, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CNN's findings come as the government struggles with vaccine supply shortages and a chaotic rollout that has caused delays in vaccinating the elderly. The federal government has recommended that states open up vaccination to more groups of people, including everyone 65 and older.
Initial guidance from the CDC had suggested health care workers and elderly in long-term facilities be the first to receive the vaccine.
Health experts and advocates say the federal government can help alleviate the disparities by strengthening partnerships with leaders and churches in Black and Latino communities — and be intentional about not leaving people of color out of vaccination efforts.