Association of Black Cardiologists Advocates for Vaccinations in Communities of Color

Updated: May 28

Black Americans are dying from COVID-19 at higher rates than others -- but they are also getting vaccinated at lower rates.

NEWS PROVIDED BY Association of Black Cardiologists

Jan 22, 2021, 10:43 ET

Dr. Michelle Albert, University of California, San Francisco; President, Association of Black Cardiologists
Association of Black Cardiologists Advocates for Vaccinations in Communities of Color

Blacks and people of color are not inherently more susceptible to COVID-19 illness and mortality, however, existing structural racism contributes to the health disparities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, social determinants of health place many people of color at heightened risk for poor COVID-19 outcomes, including disparities in healthcare coverage and access; disproportionate representation in "essential" jobs that often carry greater virus-exposure risk; crowded housing conditions; and disparities in income, education and wealth.

A Kaiser Health News analysis of state

health-department data that reported vaccine recipients' race and ethnicity, reported that Black vaccination rates are three to five times lower than White vaccination rates.

Members of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) are on the front lines where they are providing quality cardiovascular care for millions of disadvantaged Americans, including those suffering from complications of the coronavirus disease.

I felt the vaccine would prevent me from getting seriously ill if infected with COVID-19 and it is also a way to help end the pandemic. Also, clinical trials have shown the vaccines to be safe and effective. ~ Dr. Joe Hargrove, Private Practice, Little Rock, AR, Past Board Chair of the Association of Black Cardiologists

ABC members also lead and support research to test effective vaccines and therapies. The ABC Cardiovascular Implementation Study (CVIS) utilizes innovative approaches to collect real world data at the point of care. Through these efforts, the ABC will continue to work with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), research institutions, healthcare providers, ABC community health advocates and other strategic partners to promote access to effective vaccines and therapies, as well monitoring of long term effects.

Advocacy is at the heart of ABC's work to ensure that comprehensive health policies address access to affordable healthcare, structural racism, and social determinants of health. The organization is especially proud of its grassroots work to engage Blacks and other communities of color through its signature "Spirit of the Heart" education and wellness program as well as churches, beauty salons and barber shops.

The Association also supports equitable vaccination programs, as well as a comprehensive science-based public health approach, including wearing masks, hand washing and social distancing.

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