COVID-19 has killed 3,000 Blacks in L.A., report says

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Wave Staff Report

LOS ANGELES — More than 3,000 Black people have died from COVID-19 complications since the pandemic began in 2020 members of Black Women Rally for Action reported during a press conference Nov. 18.

The group released a a two-year quantitative report on COVID-19 rates, deaths and vaccination status called “A look back on the impact of COVID-19 among Blacks in Los Angeles County.”

The report, made possible by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health revealed disaggregated COVID-19 data, examining the trends based on race/ethnicity, gender and age during the first two years of the pandemic.

Major finding in the report include:

  • Although vaccination rates have improved since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, data still finds Blacks have the lowest vaccination and booster rates among all populations.
  • For Black males and females, COVID cases are highest for those between the ages of 30 and 49.
  • While cases of COVID for Black women between 18 and 64 are higher than men, death rates for Black men in the same age categories were higher.
  • For Blacks 65 and older, death rates are substantially higher than all other age groups.

Black Women Rally for Action officials stated the importance of collecting, analyzing and publicizing the impacts of COVID-19 on Black people and other communities of color.

The data will allow service planners to assess problem areas and make decisions and recommendations regarding priorities and gaps while seeing the “big picture” of COVID’s prevalence and consequences. Health officials can integrate data into ongoing assessment, planning and monitoring decisions at community levels and advise policy and system changes in local, county and state services and supports.

The report was released prior to the Biden administration announcement of a renewed push for the new boosters over the next six weeks. The administration will pour $475 million in spending to expand vaccination efforts at community health centers and other locations, and officials are hoping to reach more Americans by airing advertising during the World Cup.

Black Women Rally for Action and its partners plan to use the data to influence policy makers, service providers and residents to make science-based decisions and actions.

Dr. Jerry Abraham, director of Kedren Community Care Clinic Vaccines Program, said since vaccines became available in December 2020, Kedren has vaccinated almost 400,000 Angelenos, focusing on communities of color, who are often left behind. He cautioned that while 60% of communities of color are vaccinated, that still leaves 40% unvaccinated.

An average of roughly 300 Americans a day are still dying of COVID-19, even though federal health officials say nearly every COVID death is now preventable through vaccination and treatment.

Dr. Abraham emphasized that vaccines remain free, safe, effective for individuals six months and older. The new Omicron bivalent boosters are now available at pharmacies and clinics.

Everyone is entitled to a booster two months after the last shot and should get it, Abraham said. Even those who contract COVID-19 can receive anti-viral medication at a pharmacy or clinic to treat mild to moderate symptoms.

“We must stop our community from being hospitalized and dying from preventable diseases including COVID-19,” Abraham added. “Politically, and for all aspects of society, this is not unfixable. In fact, we have so much hope in what we can accomplish. If we will focus on how far we can go together, we will get there.”

To read the full report, “A look back on the impact of COVID-19 among Blacks in Los Angeles County,” contact Black Women Rally for Action at (747) 218-9258 or send an email to blackwomenrally@gmail.com.

 

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