Cape Cod's Summer Vaccine Push Lagging In Communities Of Color

CAPE COD, Mass. (State House News Service) — Cape Cod remains on track to meet its goal of having 75 percent of the region's population vaccinated against COVID-19 by the start of the summer season, but breakdowns by racial and ethnic groups show a "significant gap" among different demographics, Sen. Julian Cyr said Thursday.

On a call with other members of Cape Cod's COVID-19 response task force, Cyr said 62 percent of white Cape Codders had received at least one vaccine dose, compared to 37 percent of the region's Black residents, 53 percent of its Hispanic residents, 51 percent of its Asian residents and 15 percent of its Native American residents.

"This is unacceptable, and we must do a better job reaching out to communities to ensure that they have easy access to vaccines and increase the trust in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine," the Truro Democrat said.

Read More: Cape Cod Senator Offers To Make Changes To Proposed Airport Landing Bill

Cyr said he'd like the state to provide more resources for equity and outreach efforts. He said he supports an ongoing effort to reach communities of color in 20 hard-hit cities and thinks it "may be a good use of dollars" to expand that model to other regions of the state.

Sean O'Brien of the Barnstable County Department of Health and the Environment said that officials are "looking at different options that may be there" to ensure the vaccine is "as available as it can be," including working with churches and exploring potential opportunities with business centers.

On the heels of federal regulators signing off Wednesday on the use of the Pfizer vaccine in youth age 12 to 15, O'Brien said Cape officials are also talking to school departments and working on plans for "getting vaccinations into the school system."

By Katie Lannan, State House News Service

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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