Orange County

Only 4% of Floridians who received COVID-19 shot were African American, data shows

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Only 4% of the 1.3 million Floridians who got at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot in January were African American, according to state data.

“This is a critical life-or-death issue,” said Dr. Michael Howell with the Central Florida Medical Society, an alliance of Black physicians who promote health care education.

He said there are many reasons behind the vaccine disparity, and the first step is to find new forums for sharing the facts.

READ: Florida reports more than 10,500 new COVID-19 cases as more pharmacy chains set to receive vaccine shipments

State Rep. Travaris McCurdy said he has a list of sites in his district begging to hold vaccine events like the one he recently co-hosted at his Orange County church that vaccinated 500 seniors.

African Americans account for less than 7% of doses in Orange County.

Yet McCurdy said it isn’t because they don’t want them.

READ: How many COVID-19 variants are there? What you need to know

“These seniors are absolutely excited that we’re bringing this resource to them,” McCurdy said. “There are no stores that are offering it in my district, so they become discouraged. We just need to make sure we are receiving what we deserve here.”

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.