Latino Residents Among Groups Who See Less Progress in COVID Cases in Los Angeles County
Latino and Black residents are among those who have yet to see progress in COVID cases in Los Angeles County. The pace was reportedly slower for the said ethnic groups as compared to white and Asian American residents.
Over the past month, COVID cases had dropped by 13 percent for Black residents and 22 percent for Latino residents. White and Asian American residents' COVID cases rates have dropped by 33 percent and 45 percent, respectively, Los Angeles Times reported.
Hospitalization rates have dropped by 11 percent for Black residents, 34 percent for Latinos and whites, and 50 percent for Asian Americans.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said they are significant decreases, but they are not distributed equally among racial and ethnic groups in the county.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis echoed Ferrer's sentiments, saying they have seen two very different versions of the county.
Solis said the one version was with higher COVID cases, particularly in the Latino and Black communities, while the other version is the groups who could comfortably stay at home. The mass vaccination rollout had also seen a large disparity among groups.
COVID Vaccination Among Latino and Black Communities
Black and Latino communities have also been left behind in vaccination efforts, with vaccination rates among the group lagging behind the general population.
The majority of those who got the COVID vaccine are whites, with only about 15 percent are Hispanic and nine percent are Black. Both of the vaccination rates were lower than their proportion of the U.S. population, The Guardian reported.
The reasons behind the disparities are waning hesitancy towards the vaccine and differences in public health infrastructure.
Dr. Linda Rae Murray, a Chicago physician and former president of the American Public Health Association (APHA), said that structural inequities, particularly in healthcare, play a role.
Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the APHA, said there are still people who have not yet heard the information they need to make an informed decision.
Another reason was transportation to and from vaccination sites. Many low-income people of color do not have access to a car or live near public transportation to get them to vaccination sites.
U.S. cities such as Chicago, Memphis, and Los Angeles used the term "pharmacy desserts" for a neighborhood with limited pharmacy access.
Efforts to Vaccinate Latino Communities
The federal government is addressing one of the barriers to getting Latino communities from taking the vaccine, which is disinformation being spread in Spanish-speaking social media.
The government has partnered with WhatsApp for the said effort, NBC News reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the effort on Monday, June 21, adding that a COVID vaccine WhatsApp chat in Spanish would help get more Latinos inoculated.
The Department of Health and Human Services is collaborating with WhatsApp's parent company, Facebook, as part of the National Month of Action. The effort aims to get 70 percent of U.S. adults to get at least one COVID vaccine shot by July.
The said Spanish chat is called "Mi Chat Sobre Vacunas COVID," which translates to "My Chat about COVID vaccines." The chatbox is already live.
WATCH: How and Why COVID-19 is Disproportionately Affecting Latinos - From ABC News
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