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New Analysis Examines Community Health Centers and COVID-19 Vaccine Equity

A new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation examined whether increasing distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to community health centers is mitigating racial disparities in vaccination.

According to federal data, 91% of community health center patients are low-income and 63% are racial or ethnic minorities.

In the new analysis, researchers report that just over half (54%) of people who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from health centers were people of color, according to the analysis, which is based on the federal government’s weekly Health Center COVID-19 Survey. Of these vaccinated individuals, 26% were Hispanic and 12% were Black. Additionally, 10% were Asian, 4% identified with more than one race, and American Indian and Alaska Native Resource (AIAN) and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) people made up 2% and 1% of vaccinations, respectively.

The analysis found that health centers appear to be vaccinating people of color at similar or higher rates than their shares of the total population. However, their shares of vaccinations were similar or slightly lower than their shares of health center patient population. As a result, the Kaiser Family Foundation concludes that there are more opportunities for community health centers to reach patients of color.

The Biden Administration’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force announced during a Feb. 9 press briefing that it would be shipping COVID-19 vaccines directly to community health centers. C-TAC applauded this measure as a step toward connecting vaccines with those who need them most.

We will continue to monitor the vaccine rollout and keep our members and partners updated. For more information, read the full report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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