New York Delays in Publishing COVID-19 Vaccine Demographic Information
New York lags behind at least 17 other states in releasing the race and ethnicity of those who received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Alice Green, from the Center for Law and Justice, says the black community remembers the country’s history of medical abuse and testing on African Americans very well.
This has left many in these communities reluctant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“It’s across the board,” explained Green. “Very, very many people hesitate to get vaccinated.”
Black and Hispanic populations were also hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor’s advisor Gareth Rhodes has said in the past that demographics will be released at some point in the “near future”.
However, Green said that this information would be useful now as the center is actively working to educate low-income black communities in Albany about the vaccine.
“I would like to see the statistics we have now,” said Green. “Are we reaching the people we want to reach? Do we need to change our message? What else do we have to do? “
This demographic information could also be useful for dissemination as the COVID-19 vaccine is limited.
Some locations have waiting lists that extend beyond April.
“The vaccine is scarce,” admitted Governor Andrew Cuomo during his press conference. “Everyone wants more.”
Gary Velasquez, CEO of a company called Cogitativo, is working on a federal project with the VA to determine who is at higher risk of developing COVID-19, and therefore may help the government prioritize who will get the vaccine should receive first.
How it works is a computer algorithm that uses insurance information to take into account various factors such as age, health, location, air quality in the area, housing density, etc. to determine who is most vulnerable.
“We did this work in California and we are about to start this work with the VA,” Velasquez said. “I think the more precisely we can do that, the better. And we don’t sacrifice precision for efficiency. We reached 20 million people in four days. So we can move forward quickly. “
New York has distributed over 1.7 million vaccines to date.