KFF is collecting and analyzing data on COVID-19 vaccinations by race/ethnicity to gain increased insight into who is receiving the vaccine and whether some groups are facing disparities in vaccination. As noted in a previous analysis, preventing racial disparities in the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines will be important for helping to mitigate the disproportionate impacts of the virus for people of color and preventing widening racial health disparities going forward. Moreover, reaching high vaccination rates across individuals and communities will be key for achieving broader population immunity.
Figure 1 provides data on COVID-19 vaccinations, cases, and deaths by race/ethnicity based on data collected on February 1, 2021. The data also show the distribution of the total population by race/ethnicity as of 2019. Across the 23 states reporting vaccination data by race/ethnicity, there was a consistent pattern of Black and Hispanic people receiving smaller shares of vaccinations compared to their shares of cases and deaths and compared to their shares of the total population. These data raise early concerns about disparities in vaccination but are also subject to gaps, limitations, and inconsistencies that limit the ability to draw strong conclusions and compare data across states. The data are still early, with vaccinations not yet broadly available to the public in many areas. Moreover, some states have high shares of vaccination data with unknown race/ethnicity and/or reporting “other or multiple races.” Further, over half of states are not yet reporting vaccinations by race/ethnicity. Comprehensive standardized data across states will be vital to monitor and ensure equitable access to and take-up of the vaccine.
KFF will be continuing to update these data on a regular basis going forward. For complete data on the racial/ethnic distribution of vaccinations among reporting states and data on shares with unknown race/ethnicity, see the COVID-19 State Data and Policy Actions tracker.