Most first responders and medical professionals have been vaccinated at this point. They are now giving out vaccines to those 65 and older, with priority on those with immune deficiencies. But vaccines are being given out in an orderly fashion as they should be, not by race, but need and age. But Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner thinks that’s not right. He wants to prioritize people of color.
“Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner held a press conference Saturday pushing for COVID-19 vaccine distribution equity.
“We need to be a lot more intentional and directional,” said Mayor Turner. “Equity has to be built in to all of our strategies.”
The Mayor was joined by several local and state representatives. Many of the lawmakers spoke and agreed with Turner.
“We’re demanding that you rollout the vaccine as it should be rolled out, to communities of color,” said Texas State Senator Borris Miles.
According to Houston’s Health Department, the majority of people severely impacted so far by COVID-19 in the city have been Black or Hispanic. However, Mayor Turner says these communities aren’t the ones receiving Coronavirus vaccines.
“We know which communities the virus is spreading in,” said Dr. David Persse from Houston’s Health Department. “Therefore, it’s those communities we are obligated to spend most of our effort and time.”
On Saturday, Mayor Turner told reporters that 43% of vaccine recipients so far in Houston have been white. In comparison, 21% have been Hispanic, 18% black, and 15% Asian.
“We need speed but we need equity,” said Turner. “Otherwise, people of color are going to be on the back-end and the [fatality] numbers are going to continue to go up.”
America’s population is 60% white, so that means if the vaccines are fairly distributed then more white people will be vaccinated in general. But the vaccine should go to those in need first and only after should it be fairly distributed to every American so we can finally be down with this pandemic. We should by no means be giving the vaccine to special interest groups, or start prioritizing one race over another. That’s just divisive thinking.