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Racial disparities persist in Vermont COVID vaccination rates

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The COVID-19 vaccination gap between white Vermonters and colored Vermonters has yet to completely disappear, although the gap is significant smaller than in the past.

Vermont leads the country in immunization of its residents, with 83% of its total eligible population having received at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC and Vermont Forward. However, only 70.1% of Vermonters of color have started their vaccinations, while non-Hispanic white Vermonters remain in the lead at 73.5%, according to department data.

The percentage gap between the total estimate and the racial breakdown is a result of the fact that while the state’s data tracking is more detailed, the CDC’s numbers are more inclusive, according to an email from the official. State Public Health Communications Officer, Ben Truman.

The disparity between Non-Hispanic whites and Vermonters of color was at its widest on March 21, at 13 percentage points. The gap is currently at its smallest at just over 3 percentage points, according to the Vermont Department of Health.

“Vermont is on track to become the first state in the United States to achieve collective immunity,” Vermont Health Equity said in a recent Instagram post. “However, the gap in vaccination rates among blacks, natives and people of color is still an issue that negatively impacts our community as a whole.”

Vermont Health Equity is an initiative run by the Vermont Professionals of Color Network, which promotes health equity for black, Indigenous and other communities of color in Vermont, according to their website.

Clinics to help close the gap

Vermont Health Equity operates and promotes a handful of free vaccination clinics for Vermonters of color. The clinics operate every Thursday and Saturday depending on the availability of vaccines. Hours vary week to week, according to their website.

Clinic locations are hosted with AALV partners at the ONE Community Center in Burlington and the Winooski School District offices in Winooski. Currently, the ONE Community Center hosts clinics from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday.

For more information on making an appointment at a Vermont Health Equity clinic, click here: https://www.vermonthealthequity.org/registration.

Additional vaccination opportunities and registration information can be found here: https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/vaccine/getting-covid-19-vaccine.

Contact Ella Ruehsen at (207) 509-1429 or [email protected]



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