Los Angeles, CA

L.A. County's Black residents now have the highest risk for COVID-19, experts say

Josue Torres
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According to recent statistics, Black residents of Los Angeles County are now at the greatest risk of coronavirus infection, COVID-19 hospitalizations, and mortality of any racial or ethnic group.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, Latinos in L.A. County have been the most impacted; the COVID-19 mortality rate among Latino residents topped all other racial and ethnic groups for the first time 11 months ago and has remained the highest for both the second and third waves of the epidemic.

However, there has been an undeniable change in recent weeks, with Black individuals now being twice as likely as Latinos and three times as likely as white and Asian American individuals to die from COVID-19.

Black citizens of Los Angeles are almost twice as likely as white or Latino inhabitants to catch the coronavirus. County, according to the Department of Public Health’s statistics.

A daily average of 45 newly confirmed coronavirus infections were recorded for every 100,000 Black inhabitants during a recent six-week period. 

However, there were around 25 newly diagnosed coronavirus cases per 100,000 white and Latino individuals each day, and 11 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Asian American inhabitants each day.

In terms of COVID-19 mortality, about one person per day died of the illness for every 100,000 Black inhabitants over the same time period. 

In comparison, the daily mortality rate for Latino inhabitants was around 0.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, while the rate for white and Asian American inhabitants was around 0.34 fatalities per 100,000 persons.

These rates are much lower than they were during the height of the epidemic. In Los Angeles, daily coronavirus cases are still decreasing, and have reached their lowest points since March 2020. 

Nonetheless, the current results represent a warning indication of what is to come if immunization rates among Black people do not increase drastically.

Only 40% of Black citizens 16 and older in L.A. County have got at least one dose of vaccination, which is the lowest proportion of any racial or ethnic group

Among comparable aged Latino people, 48% are at least partly vaccinated, as are 62% of white people and 71% of Asian American inhabitants.

Officials have long been concerned about the lower immunization rates among Black and Latino citizens. 

If too few Black and Latino citizens are vaccinated before California fully reopens its economy, these communities of color will continue to be at greater risk for COVID-19 outbreaks and mortality since they have more unvaccinated individuals.

Not only are warning flags appearing in L.A. County. According to a Washington Post research, Black people make up to 45 percent of the population in the nation’s capital but account for 82 percent of new coronavirus infections in the most recent 10-day period. While 19.8 percent of Black people in Washington have had all of their vaccinations, 28.8 percent of white people have received all of their vaccinations.

Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, head of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UC San Francisco, voiced her dismay at the difference in Washington in a tweet. Bibbins-Domingo remarked, “The consequences of failing to focus on those most affected throughout the pandemic is devastating.”

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According to surveys, authorities need to do more to inform Black and Latino populations about how and where they may be vaccinated.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, Black and Latino people were twice as likely as white people to be unaware of where to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, black and Latino adults were more likely than white adults to be concerned about missing work due to vaccination, not being able to get the shot from a trusted source, having to pay for the vaccine (even though it is free), and having difficulty getting transportation to a vaccine site.

According to the foundation’s polling, young Black and Latino people are more likely than young white individuals to want to “wait and see” before obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination.

As a consequence, authorities have been attempting to set up more mobile immunization clinics in places where people do not have easy access to transportation. 

L.A. County has also created a website where individuals may request that a vaccination clinic be set up at their business, group, or special event.

President Biden has said that firms may get tax credits for offering paid time off to workers who need to take time off work to obtain their dose and cope with minor side effects, such as a fever or lethargy, that are typically a day after receiving the vaccine.

State and municipal governments have begun to use incentives to rekindle public interest in immunizations.

Officials in Los Angeles County launched a competition with a grand prize of season tickets to Kings hockey games, or Galaxy Soccer matches. 

Angelenos may become eligible by obtaining their first COVID-19 injection — or their second if they bring someone to receive their first dose with them — at L.A. County Health Department immunization clinics until Thursday. County, the city of Los Angeles, or St. John’s Well Child & Family Center, which works in pandemic-affected regions.

Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced the Vax for the Win initiative, which seeks to provide $116.5 million in cash and other rewards to vaccinated individuals throughout the state. 

The main prize provides ten California citizens the opportunity to win $1.5 million each.

Officials anticipate that the initiatives would provide additional motivation for individuals to get vaccinated.

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