HJAR Mar/Apr 2021

32 MAR / APR 2021 I  HEALTHCARE JOURNAL OF ARKANSAS POLICY COLUMN POLICY VACCINE HESITANCY is a serious concern, and this is especially true for the African American community. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted in December found that 35% of African American adults said they would probably not or definitely not get a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 26% of white adults and 26% of Hispanic adults. 1 The Centers for Disease Control and Pre- vention reported in February that racial in- formation was available for only about half of vaccine recipients, but the limited data showed that the rate of vaccination was much lower for AfricanAmericans than for in theCOVID-19VaccineRollout their white counterparts. 2 As of this writ- ing, there is no public reporting on rates of vaccination by race inArkansas; as in most states, collection of comprehensive data from the frontline workers putting doses in arms has proven challenging given the need for rapid delivery. But, an Associated Press analysis of data from 17 states that have released information on vaccinations by race found that in all of them, African American people are being vaccinated at rates far below their share of the population. For example, African American people in North Carolina make up 22% of the popu- lation, but as of Jan. 25, they made up only The development of vaccines for COVID-19 has allowed us to see light at the end of the very long tunnel that is the current pandemic, but the vaccines will only work if people take them. RACIAL EQUITY CONCERNS