There are new questions about Palm Beach County’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts and a disparity in the number of minorities who have received the shot.
Dr. Alina Alonso, director of the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County, said Friday that 40% of the county’s population 65 and older had received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
However, Alonso added just 16% of Hispanics and 15% of African-Americans 65 and older in Palm Beach County had been vaccinated.
State Rep. Omari Hardy, D-West Palm Beach, whose district includes several minority communities in the county, called the numbers shameful.
Hardy has warned that Black and Hispanic communities would be slow to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
When Contact 5 told him whites 65 and older were almost three times as likely to receive COVID-19 shots, he was disappointed.
“That’s a shame because what we’re all trying to do is survive. We’re trying to make it through this pandemic alive, and so it’s incumbent on the governor and the folks around him to move heaven and earth to right these wrongs. Because if they don’t, people of color will pay for it,” Hardy said.
Hardy said the racial disparities in distributing the vaccine comes after Black and Hispanics got infected and died during the pandemic at high rates.
He called on state and local governments to prioritize getting more minorities over the age of 65 vaccinated.