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Community Conversation Focuses on Racial Disparity in Vaccine Rollout

There has been a myriad of recent news stories related to all aspects of the COVID-19 vaccine, including reports that African Americans and other communities of color, in spite of their increased risks, are only receiving the vaccine at around half the rate of white Americans. In a USA Today Op-Ed from earlier this week, doctors Richard E. Besser and Julie Morita wrote:

Black, Latino and Native Americans—many of whom are front-line essential workers—are being infected, hospitalized and dying at rates that far surpass their proportions of the population. Given this reality, we must do everything we can to ensure that more of them get to the front of the vaccination lines.

Today, February 4, St. Paul-Ramsey County Health and the COVID-19 Racial Equity and Community Engagement Response Team (RECERT) will be hosting a virtual town hall meeting from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm Central Time. This vital community conversation will enable local residents to submit their questions in advance (via email to racialequity@ramseycounty.us) or to ask them during the live Zoom event. 

The purpose of this event, according to public health officials, is to: share current plans with regard to vaccine distribution phases; provide information on the science behind the coronavirus vaccines as well as its safety and effectiveness; and to foster open community discussion. Residents are “encouraged to share concerns, questions, and myths or rumors that they’re hearing about the vaccine with county staff,” information designed to “improve the county’s response to the pandemic and vaccinations.” For more details about this the COVID-19 Vaccine Community Conversation and how to join the event this evening on Zoom, please click here.

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