health disparities

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) wants to combat misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine by hosting town halls targeting specific, underserved communities and their questions over the next two weeks.

“It is important to share reliable, factual information about COVID-19 vaccines with all Ohioans,” said ODH Director Stephanie McCloud in an emailed statement.

The average U.S. life expectancy dropped by a year in the first half of 2020, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics, a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Life expectancy at birth for the total U.S. population was 77.8 years – a decline of 1 year from 78.8 in 2019. For males, the life expectancy at birth was 75.1 – a decline of 1.2 years from 2019. For females, life expectancy declined to 80.5 years, a 0.9 year decrease from 2019.

Cuyahoga County plans to address racial inequities during the COVID-19 pandemic by allocating 20 percent of vaccines to people of color and bringing the vaccine to areas with higher numbers of people of color.

It's an effort to balance inequitable vaccine distribution.

“According to the Board of Health, we’re seeing that 90 percent of the available vaccine are going to white people,” Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish said.

Georgia Washington, 79, can't drive. Whenever she needs to go somewhere, she asks her daughter or her friends to pick her up.

She has lived in the northern part of Baton Rouge, a predominantly Black area of Louisiana's capital, since 1973. There aren't many resources there, including medical facilities. So when Washington fell ill with COVID-19 last March, she had to get a ride 20 minutes south to get medical attention.

A caregiver tests a patient for coronavirus at University Hospitals, Monday, March 16, 2020, in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus is calling on Gov. Mike DeWine to prioritize getting the COVID-19 vaccine to Black Ohioans. And the head of a medical center in a predominantly Black Cleveland neighborhood agrees that expanded access is needed.

As soon as COVID-19 hit, there was a massive jump in telemedicine visits. A Centers for Disease Control study found that in March 2020 there was a 154% increase compared to the previous year.

Now it’s clear the coronavirus has dramatically changed the way Americans get medical care. But some of these virtual options remain out of reach for the most vulnerable populations, like seniors.

Cleveland Clinic Akron General Dr. Carl Allamby is working with the Akron Urban League to assure African-Americans that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe.
Cleveland Clinic Akron General

An African American physician in Summit County whose story inspired many is now working to help assure people in the Black community that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe.

As the U.S. grapples with the effects of systemic racism, some in the medical community are questioning whether the tools they use to assess patient health may be contributing to racial health disparities.

Drug manufacturers have released promising early results for their COVID-19 vaccines, but skepticism among Americans remains high -- especially for African Americans, who the virus has hit harder than other groups.

The vast majority of children dying from COVID-19 are Hispanic, Black or Native American, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers analyzed the number of coronavirus cases and deaths among people under the age of 21 that were reported to the CDC between Feb. 12 and July 31 of this year. They found more than 390,000 cases and 121 deaths.

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, mortality rates and life expectancy are far better for white Americans than they are for Black people during normal, non-pandemic years, according to an analysis published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Marin County, just north of San Francisco, is best known nationally as a picturesque gateway to wine country and home to moneyed tech investors and a handful of aging rock stars. The reality, of course, is more complicated.

Weekly Reporter Roundtable

Aug 17, 2020
Taylor Williams, left, and other shoppers what in line to enter a Traders Joes store, Monday, April 6, 2020, in Woodmere Village, Ohio. Only 25 customers are allowed in the store at one time.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Black Ohioans represent 14% of the state’s population but one-in-four of Ohio's positive COVID-19 cases, nearly a third of all hospitalizations and one-in-five associated deaths. That’s why Gov. Mike DeWine last week reiterated the growing call to see racism as a public health crisis.

Black Americans are becoming infected with the coronavirus at a rate three times that of whites and they are twice as likely to die from COVID-19, according to a new report from the National Urban League, based partly on data from Johns Hopkins University.

A key focus of Thursday's report is the impact of the pandemic and how the disease has followed the contours of the larger society in falling especially hard on Blacks, Latinos and Indigenous people.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) called racism a public health crisis while releasing a report from a task force created to look into how COVID-19 is hitting people of color disproportionately.

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