Louisiana releases vaccine demographics, but data vague

Louisiana News

Lt. Ollie Martin, right, with Ochsner Security, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by nurse Meshoca Williams at Ochsner Hospital on O’Neal Lane, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, Pool)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana has started releasing demographic details on who’s received the coronavirus vaccine.

But the data provided Friday lacks key information to determine if Louisiana’s doses are being distributed equitably.

Few vaccine providers are identifying recipients’ race in the data submitted. That undermines Gov. John Bel Edwards’ efforts to ensure minority groups have adequate access to vaccination.

The information shows at least 33% of Louisiana’s nearly 273,000 vaccine recipients are white and at least 10% are black.

But another 56% of those who have received the shots were listed as “unknown” or “other.”

Edwards is calling on hospitals, clinics and pharmacies vaccinating people in Louisiana to start providing more complete data.

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