Madison, Wisconsin - UW Health is working hard to center our vaccine prioritization equitably.
When we first began scheduling patients age 65 and older for the vaccine, UW Health prioritized invitations to those at higher risk, including Black, Latinx and Native American patients ages 65 and older. These decisions were designed to promote vaccine equity and were based on the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee research-based guidance.
UW Health has now invited all its medically homed patients age 65 or older to receive the vaccine, and the results show early success in promoting vaccine equity:
50% of our Native American patients have received at least one dose of the vaccine
Followed by 44% of our Latinx patients
39% of our Black patients
And 35% of our white patients
COVID-19 has undisputedly and disproportionately impacted communities of color. Health experts are seeing much higher rates of hospitalization and death among Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities.
For example, Black and Latinx individuals are 2.8 times more likely than white people to die from COVID-19 in the United States. Native Americans are 2.6 times more likely to die than white people from the virus. Given these devastating disparities, it is vitally important to ensure our most impacted communities have access to the vaccine as well as the information they need to understand and trust the vaccine.
In addition to the prioritization of scheduling invites, UW Health is hiring vaccine patient educators who will work over the next year within the Black, Latinx and Hmong communities to proactively contact our UW Health primary care patients, providing information and support to navigate access to the vaccine as more people become eligible.
UW Health continues to work to vaccinate eligible individuals, currently prioritizing those age 65 and older, as vaccine supply permits.
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