To date, vaccination rates among Black and Hispanic people have lagged behind those of White people, largely due to access and logistical barriers as well as concerns about safety and potential side effects. As such, even if broad national vaccination goals are achieved, these groups may remain at higher risk, which could lead to widening health disparities and limit the nation’s recovery from the pandemic.
To further explore potential disparities in meeting vaccination benchmarks, researchers at Stanford University and KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) used current state-reported vaccination data by race/ethnicity to project vaccine coverage going forward, by state and nationally. Specifically, using the current pace of vaccination, we projected the share of people ages 12 and older who would receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of July 4 for four racial/ethnic groups (White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian) and assessed when 70% of each group would have received at least one dose.
It remains to be seen whether President Biden’s goal of at least 70% of adults receiving at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose by July 4 will be achieved, particularly given the slowdown in vaccinations. Regardless of when this goal is achieved, it is important to recognize that this national benchmark may mask underlying disparities.