Residents say there are racial disparities in vaccine distribution

COVID: Vaccine supply and demand
COVID: Vaccine supply and demand(WXIX)
Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 8:21 PM EST
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published February 3, 2021 at 5:28 PM EST - Updated February 3 at 5:32 PM on

CINCINNATI, OH (Great Health Divide) - Slightly more than 6% of American adults have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, studies show a disproportionately small number of them are Black and Hispanic people.

Now, residents are saying they are experiencing this in their neighborhoods first hand.

“It’s kind of disheartening, it’s heartbreaking is what it is,” Sheri Jackson says.

Jackson recently scheduled an appointment for her mom to get vaccinated.

“So, I put her zip code in, and there were no appointments available,” Jackson explains. “There was a little map that shows, and it was red, it had all red dots, no vaccines available in a 25-mile radius.”

Jackson’s first search was for the Roselawn area, which is where her mother lives.

When she switched up zip codes, heading over to Warren County, the results were different.

“I live in the Mason, Lebanon area, so I decided to put my zip code in and thought she could find a location closer to me, and that was 45036 and when I put that in, the map then changed, and it was blue,” said Jackson.

The lack of vaccines available in areas is leaving residents confused.

“I recently spoke to some people in 45250 area who also experienced the same problem with not being able to schedule an appointment because of their zip code,” says Tonia Dorsey. “At one point in time, the 45250 was a predominately white neighborhood. Presently it is more brown people, Mexican and African Americans. So, I’m just trying to figure out are they targeting certain area’s zip codes.”

Areas like Avondale and Price Hill are experiencing the same issue as Jackson did.

“It’s a racial divide,” Evelyn Colvin says.

Colvin has lived in Roselawn for 12 years.

“My one friend warned me of this,” explains Colvin. “It came to light and it’s just word of mouth if nothing else we can tell senior the other area they can go if it comes up red in one area, try a different zip code. I just happened to be so lucky to use her zip code,” said Colvin.

Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman says on the Hamilton County Public Health website, there is a link to each provider on where the community can get vaccinated.

“We have worked really hard here at Hamilton County Public Health to make sure there’s equal distribution across the county,” says Kesterman. “Our very first testing location, as well as vaccine clinic, was in Forest Park, and we did so because we saw the highest number of cases there, and we saw there was a need in the community.”

Residents say moving forward they would like to see black leaders in the community get more involved to make sure everyone is taken care of equally.

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