Washington state vaccination data shows racial, ethnic inequities

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Alessandra Tarantino
Wa Race And Ethnicity Vaccine Data

WA Department of Health

OLYMPIA, Wash. — New data from the Washington State Department of Health shows Hispanic and Black people have received disproportionately less of the COVID vaccine than the rest of the state.

According to the report, the percentage of Hispanic people who have been vaccinated, 5.9 percent, is lower than their representation in the state population, 13.2 percent. Similarly, 2.7-percent of Black people have received both doses of the vaccine, which is lower than their representation in the population at 3.9 percent.

The Department of Health (DOH) notes that multiracial groups are also underrepresented, both in receiving their first vaccine dose and being fully vaccinated.

Interestingly, Indigenous Americans and Native Alaskans make up a slightly larger proportion of vaccinated people compared to their representation, and Asian people are even slightly overrepresented.

“These data are crucial to understanding how we must balance the need to vaccinate as many Washingtonians as quickly as possible while also promoting equity in the process,” said Secretary of Health, Dr. Umair A. Shah. “While we have been focusing on both throughout, we must all do more to address these COVID-19 vaccine inequities and related access barriers.”

DOH plans to incorporate race, ethnicity and age metrics into their COVID-19 dashboard within a week, and it will be updated daily alongside case and hospital data.