Minority communities continue to be at high risk of COVID-19 complications, doctors say

Less Black, Hispanic population getting vaccinated, data shows

Leaders with AdventHealth are addressing health disparities facing Black and Hispanic populations during the pandemic.

At a weekly briefing on Thursday, Dr. Alric Simmonds discussed how minority communities are generally at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19.

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“They have a higher mortaility from COVID, because they have higher degrees of pre-existing conditions that have not been well controlled,” Simmonds said.

Education was talked about as a key way of gaining patient trust. Simmonds said AdventHealth is working to increase minority access to health care.

“That’s where we really see the problem from an equity stand point,” Simmonds said. “We want those patients to have the same opportunity to live a healthy life as anybody else.”

According to the Florida Department of Health, 2.1 million people have received their first vaccination dose. Of those vaccinated, 1.3 million are white, while 287,111 are Black or Hispanic.

Simmonds addressed the disparity and said healthcare leaders are exploring at solutions.

“We’re now looking at ways to partner with churches, fraternities, sororities and the like to see if we can get large amounts of vaccine to be able to get into those communities and vaccinate those patients,” he said.

Simmonds said AdventHealth is working to gain trust in minority communities with a goal of vaccinating as many people as possible.

“The only way we’re going to move forward as a society and get past COVID is to have herd immunity established and the only way we’re going to do that is have much of the population vaccinated,” Simmonds said.

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