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Badger Talks: Disparities in COVID vaccination

March 5, 2021

There’s growing concern that there’s a mismatch between who’s getting the COVID-19 vaccine and who’s actually being most affected by the pandemic. Early data shows that of the total number of vaccinated people, a disproportionately small number are Black and Hispanic.

In this Badger Talks video, Tiffany Green, assistant professor in the Departments of Population Health Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine and Public Health, discusses racial disparities when it comes to vaccination.

“I think the disparities in vaccination are a reflection of the underlying  disparities that drive Covid-related mobidity and mortality in the first place,” Green says.

She sees a lack of access to health care, a lack of full coordination at the federal and state level, and challenges with gaining trust in some communities based on historical and present-day challenges and abuses.

As for trust, Green acknowledges that the word has become a politicized term. She urges a focus on improving vaccine distribution and bringing the vaccines to the communities that need them the most. Also of importance, Green says we need to make sure the people administering vaccines have a track record of trust within the community.

Asked if things are getting better as the vaccination effort goes along, Green says, “I’m hopeful, but we will have to wait and see.”