Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood) urged the state to create a plan to increase vaccination rates among the state’s non-white residents Monday.
“Now, roughly a month into a vaccination campaign, only eight percent of the vaccines distributed have gone into the arms of Black or brown people,” he said. “The reasons for this are storied, from general mistrust in the government to limited internet access, but it is vital that we address this disparity head on.”
Per the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, Black residents received just 3% of the 796,075 vaccine doses administered as of Monday morning, while Latino residents accounted for 5%, though 38% of vaccine recipients listed their race as “unknown” or “other” in equal portions.
Similar racial disparities have been seen throughout the pandemic. In earlier months, Black residents contracted and died of the virus in disproportionate numbers.
“This is urgent, it cannot wait and it won’t just be our communities of color that will suffer if we fail to address it,” Johnson said. “If we really want to stop the spread, open up, go back to school and put the coronavirus behind us, we have to make sure every community has the same level of protection.”