In our latest Justice for All special, Spectrum Bay News 9 is looking into the impacts Covid-19 has had in the Black community. We’re also digging deeper into the cause of the low vaccination rates in the Black community. We explore the trust issues some in the Black community have when it comes to healthcare, diversity in clinical trials, and vaccine education. Tune in Monday, March 22 at 7 p.m. on Spectrum Bay News 9 to watch our special, Justice for All: Vaccination Hesitation in the Black Community. We will air an encore presentation Saturday, March 27th at 4 p.m.
Navigating Covid-19 vaccine information can be difficult for many. That’s why Spectrum Bay News 9 has compiled a number of information resources to help with any questions that arise.
According to the CDC, as of March 15, more than 71 million people have been vaccinated in the U.S. Out of those vaccinations, only half reported the race/ethnicity of the people vaccinated. Those numbers showed 66.1% of white people were vaccinated, 8.6% of Hispanics and 7.6% of Black people have been vaccinated.
Those numbers are concerning to many because of how much more likely certain races are to die from Covid-19 complications. The CDC data shows th n at Black or African Americans are 2.9 times more likely to be hospitalized from Covid-19 complications and 1.9 times more likely to die when compared to their white counterparts. The numbers from American Indians and Hispanics are just as devastating.
The CDC list race and ethnicity as risk markers for other underlying conditions that affect health, including socioeconomic status as a reason for those increased factors among people of color. Access to health care and exposure to the virus related to occupation, e.g., frontline, essential, and critical infrastructure workers are also listed as contributors to those hospitalization and death rates for people in Black and brown communities.
There are currently three Covid-19 vaccines that received emergency approval from the FDA. That authorization makes medical countermeasures, like vaccines, available in an emergency. The approval is only given when there’s a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear threat, including infectious diseases.
The first vaccine to receive emergency authorization was made by Pfizer-BioNtech. It is a two shot vaccine administered three weeks apart, into the upper arm. According to the CDC, the vaccine is 95% effective at preventing Covid-19 in people. New data shows the vaccine is 97% effective in preventing symptomatic disease, severe/critical disease, and death.
The second vaccine to receive emergency authorization was made by ModernaTX, Inc. It is a two shot vaccine, into the upper arm, given 28 days apart. CDC data shows the Moderna vaccine is 94.1% effective at preventing COVID-19 illness in people who received two doses, who had no evidence of being previously infected.
Both Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines use mRNA technology.
The latest FDA Emergency use authorized vaccine was made by Johnson and Johnson. The Janssen vaccine does not us MRNA technology but experts say that doesn’t make it any more or less safe. The J&J vaccine only requires one shot in the upper arm. According to the CDC, the vaccine is 66.3% effective at preventing Covid-19. It is also most effective two weeks after getting vaccinated.
VACCINE AVAILABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY
Florida’s Department of Health has up to date information on who is eligible for the vaccine along with information on where to get vaccinated in your county.
Counties in Florida are also using a patient portal to register for the vaccine once you’re eligible.
If you want to get vaccinated but you don’t have a ride, Florida Medicaid is offering rides to vaccination sites.
The DOH in Pinellas County has visited more than a dozen faith communities and community organizations to help administer hundreds of COVID-19 vaccinations to bridge the health equity gap. Hillsborough County has taken similar steps.
In our special, Justice for All: Vaccination Hesitation in the Black Community, a number of experts answered questions about how the vaccine works, how it was created so quickly, and why it’s safe to get the vaccine. The special airs Monday, March 22, at 7 p.m.
Here are the experts we spoke to:
Dr. Alric V. Simmonds
Dr. Alric V. Simmonds, Jr., MD is a board-certified general surgeon in Orlando. Dr. Simmonds earned his medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health in 1999. He went on to complete his medical residency at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC. Dr. Simmonds specializes in breast cancer surgery, endocrine surgery (thyroid/parathyroid) and hernia repair surgery. Learn more about Dr. Simmonds…
Dr. Keith Ferdinand Bio
Keith C. Ferdinand, MD, FACC, FAHA, FASH, FNLA began his medical career with a BA in biology from the University of New Orleans. He then went on to earn an MD from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC, an internship at the US Public Health Hospital in New Orleans, an internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at LSU Medical Center and a cardiology fellowship at Howard University Hospital, Washington,D.C. After years of doing clinical work, research and teaching at Xavier University, LSU, Baylor College of Medicine, and Emory University, Dr. Ferdinand returned to New Orleans as a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Tulane University Heart and Vascular Institute. Learn more about Dr. Ferdinand…
Dr. Kevin Sneed Bio
Dr. Sneed is a tenured Professor and the founding Dean of the University of South Florida College of Pharmacy. He also serves as Senior Associate Vice-President for USF Health. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a concentration in Microbiology from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Sneed received his Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy, where he received numerous clinical and leadership awards. He completed an Ambulatory Care/Primary Care Pharmacy Practice Specialty Residency at Bay Pines Veteran’s Administration Medical Center. Learn more about Dr. Sneed…
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