Local, state health officials aim to bring more COVID-19 vaccines to minorities

VIDEO: Local, state health officials aim to bring more COVID-19 vaccines to minorities

As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out in Florida, state leaders are noticing a disparity among distribution.

Data shows a small number of vaccines administered have gone to minorities.

The first big shipment of doses went to health care workers, and statistics show minorities make up a small percent of that profession.

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But experts say the problem getting vaccines to people of different races and ethnic backgrounds goes deeper than just that.

Orange County health officer Dr. Raul Pino said it’s been noticeable from the beginning.

“there’s a large percentage of Caucasian,” he said. “We don’t see that many Latinos or that many African Americans coming through.”

According to Jared Moskowitz, director of emergency management, “It looks like only 7% of the minority population took the vaccine.”

To remedy this, mobile vaccination pods are heading to a handful of Section 9 housing complexes to get the shots to seniors.

“Those are specifically designed to go into minority places, people of low socioeconomic status that we can have an interaction one-on-one, and provide those services,” Pino said.

They’ve vaccinated about 300 seniors with this effort so far,

The state is also trying to reach minority groups with a faith-based initiative by taking vaccines to churches. This weekend, they will be going to 11 churches including one in Kissimmee.