James Lamont DuBose Discusses Why There Needs to be a Greater Focus on Disparities in the African American Community That Are Preventing Citizens From Gaining Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine
Fox Soul’s Head of programming says the time has come for people in positions of power in the media to stop taking the easy way out when it comes to the real reasons why African Americans are not getting vaccinated.
Vaccine hesitancy has become a phrase that has become all too familiar when there are discussions about why African Americans are not getting the COVID-19 vaccination at the same rate as people in other demographic groups. James Lamont DuBose says that vaccine hesitancy is an issue among some members of the African American community, but he asserts it is only one in a list of determinants that is standing in the way of people getting the vaccine. “I think that we all need to be careful about generalizing, and being so willing to accept the narrative that many have spread about African Americans and why they are not getting the COVID-19 vaccine. We can’t let out political leaders, or people in the medical community off of the hook when it comes to the disparities affecting African American people.”, Mr. DuBose said.
According to information released by the CDC on June 28, 2021, they tracked the race/ethnicity for 58 percent of the people who had taken the COVID-19 vaccine, and of those who had received at least one shot, approximately 60 percent of the recipients were white, 15 percent were Hispanic and 9 percent were Black. James Lamont DuBose contends that the numbers speak for themselves. “When you really take the time to look at the numbers and think about the gap in terms of race, it is hard for anyone to make a serious argument that vaccine hesitancy is the singular reason why more African Americans are not getting the vaccine. The reality is, disparities in regard to healthcare have been an issue in the black community for a very long time, the pandemic just pulled the scab off of an infected wound. It is time for people to have honest discussions about the social determinants of health that are responsible for black people not getting vaccinated.”, James Lamont DuBose said.
According to the CDC, one of the biggest detriments to healthcare in the black community is a lack of access to quality and affordable healthcare. Other determinants to African Americans getting the COVID-19 vaccine according to the CDC include, discrimination against African Americans from members of the healthcare community, a lack of policies and programs and systems that support equitable healthcare, a lack of transportation, and a lack of opportunities to be educated about the long term effects of COVID-19.
James Lamont DuBose asserts that people who work in the media and entertainment industries have a responsibility to talk about these types of inequities. “It is important for members of the society that we all live in to have meaningful conversations based on facts and actual statistics. It is important that we all play a role in ensuring we learn as much about each other and the issues people outside our own communities contend with. For example, there are a number of African Americans who can’t afford health insurance, so they only see a physician when unfortunately they end up in an emergency room. The thought of not being able to pull out an insurance card and seeing a doctor is foreign to a lot of people in this country. Yet many African Americans who are first responders, and essential workers face the fear of getting sick every day.”, James Lamont DuBose said.