Over 75 per cent of US adults have received at least one Covid-19 vaccination. Yet vaccination rates vary widely across regions and demographics. Among those who have received at least one vaccine (percentages are relative to their total population), 68 per cent are Asian, 52 per cent are white, 48 per cent are Hispanic and 43 per cent are Black. In most states where data is available, Black people are receiving a smaller percentage of vaccines relative to their overall population, despite them accounting for a much larger share of Covid-19 deaths.
Structural inequities, such as a lack of access to vaccines, have played a large role in limiting vaccine uptake among Black people. While ongoing measures are being taken to increase access to vaccines, and vaccination rates gradually increasing among all populations, these efforts have so far failed to significantly increase vaccine uptake in Black communities.
A long history of medical racism and exploitation combined with ongoing discrimination in health care — unequal access to health care facilities, insurance and treatment — has left many Black people distrustful of the medical system and official institutions.