Alabama Official On Vaccine Rollout: How Can This Disparity Exist In This Country? – NPR

Sheila Tyson, a Jefferson County commissioner in Birmingham, Ala., is combating to get more doses of COVID-19 vaccines into communities of color in her state.

/ Andi Rice/Bloomberg by means of Getty Images

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/ Andi Rice/Bloomberg through Getty Images

Sheila Tyson, a Jefferson County commissioner in Birmingham, Ala., is battling to get more doses of COVID-19 vaccines into neighborhoods of color in her state.

/ Andi Rice/Bloomberg by means of Getty Images

According to the most recent information supplied by the states health department, in cases where race was reported– white people have received 54.6% of vaccinations, compared to 14.6% for Black people. Tyson, a commissioner in Jefferson County, which consists of Birmingham, says state officials have told her that they are not distributing vaccines to majority-Black communities since they anticipate individuals there might be reluctant to take them. “They had actually stuck in their head that Brown and black communities will in fact turn the vaccine down without even doing a survey, without even having a strategy, without having a person representing those neighborhoods at the table with the preparation session,” she says.

In Birmingham, Ala., Alabama Regional Medical Services– a health clinic that mostly serves a lower-income, Black neighborhood– has not received a single dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine, and news reports state it will have to wait up until March 13 for its very first delivery. The first doses in the state went to neighboring Mountain Brook, an affluent white residential area of Birmingham, states Sheila Tyson, a regional official, and the community continues to have adequate supply of vaccines.

Vaccine hesitancy is not what Tyson is hearing from her community.

Vaccine hesitancy is not what Tyson is hearing from her community. “I am finding out thousands and thousands of people within the state of Alabama desire the vaccine. And the absence of vaccine isnt the only obstacle, Tyson states.

The very first doses in the state went to nearby Mountain Brook, a wealthy white suburban area of Birmingham, states Sheila Tyson, a regional authorities, and the community continues to have adequate supply of vaccines. Tyson, a commissioner in Jefferson County, which consists of Birmingham, says state authorities have told her that they are not distributing vaccines to majority-Black areas because they anticipate people there might be reluctant to take them. “They had actually stuck in their head that Brown and black neighborhoods will in fact turn the vaccine down without even doing a survey, without even having a plan, without having a person representing those communities at the table with the planning session,” she states.

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