COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the U.S. and the world. Unfortunately, it has also revealed that health disparities still exist among minority groups. Even though 50% of Americans are now vaccinated, COVID-19 is still causing serious illness and death, with minorities being impacted the most, according to cardiologist Gerard Abate.
Statistics show that African American and Latino people are at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 illness. The rate of hospitalization among African American and Hispanic people is 4.7 times higher than non-Hispanic white people.
African Americans account for 16% of COVID-19 deaths, but they only make up 13% of the population.
Vaccination Rates Among Minorities
70% of the U.S. have received at least one vaccine dose, and 50% are fully vaccinated. Ethnicity is known for 58% of people who have received the vaccine.
As of July 19, 2021, 59% of vaccinated individuals were white. 16% were Hispanic, 9% were African American, and 6% were Asian. 1% were Indigenous American Indian or Alaskan natives.
According to Gerard Abate, the gap is narrowing. 30% of vaccines in the last two weeks have gone to Hispanics. 14% went to African Americans, and 6% went to Asians.
Data from 40 states show that 65% of Asians have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 48% of whites, 41% of Hispanics, and 36% of African Americans.
Why Are Minorities Harder Hit by COVID?
Living conditions are one factor, according to Gerard Abate. Minorities are more likely to live in multigenerational homes. They are more likely to live in smaller homes as well, which makes it hard to isolate when sick.
Occupation also plays a role. Nearly 25% of African Americans and Hispanics who are employed work in the service industry, compared to 16% of whites. Working with the public puts workers at a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. African Americans comprise 30% of nurses. Health care workers are at a high risk of COVID-19 exposure.
Lack of health insurance has been linked to health disparities as well. Those without health insurance are less likely to seek needed medical care for COVID-19 and underlying health conditions that increase the risk of severe illness.
A 2017 report by the CDC found that 6% of white people didn’t have health insurance, compared to 18% of Hispanics and 10% of African Americans.
Gerard Abate began his career as a cardiologist. After a 14-year career, he transitioned to the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry. He’s now a successful consultant for the industry. He’s worked to launch four drugs, and launched a trial for Hemostyp.