Why is vaccine equity still lagging among NJ’s Black and brown residents?

A week from today the floodgates lift and eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines will open up for all New Jersey residents age 16 and older. But it means those newly eligible will start making appointments just as the state’s allocation of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is expected to be severely cut back due to a recent production problem at a Maryland factory.

State health officials are taking the pharmaceutical company at its word that a 100-million dose goal will be met by the summer. But racial gaps persist in the effort to vaccinate more Black and Brown residents. The needle hasn’t moved much, with just 15% of all administered doses having gone to Hispanic or Black individuals. Dr. Robert Johnson, dean of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, discusses the issue.

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