BY: STAFF REPORT
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BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Verbatim Media Advisory) — Vice Mayor Robert Weinroth called on county and state health officials to fix “glaring” inequities in the county’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
Since Dec. 29, just 7 percent of the county’s Black and Hispanic residents had been inoculated compared to 70 percent of whites, according to statistics presented to the Palm Beach County Commission on Tuesday.
“Seventy percent versus 7 percent? I think we can do much better,’’ he said. “We can’t lose sight of the fact that we have a whole underserved population.’’
Palm Beach County has vaccinated 130,027 people. That’s 8.7 percent of the county’s population, a higher percentage than Miami-Dade (5.7 percent) and Broward (6.4 percent) counties.
Weinroth challenged county managers and state health officials to “re-double the efforts as far as these underserved communities are concerned because it really is a glaring disparity we cannot accept. Shame on us for allowing this to continue this way.’’
Weinroth applauded efforts by churches to offer vaccinations to underserved communities. But much more needs to be done by local government to wipe out the virus, he said.
“We also have to do something about people who don’t trust us. There is a tremendous lack of trust and we have to make people feel that this vaccine is not going to kill them. That’s what’s apparent in these numbers,’’ he said.
Additionally, Weinroth joined commissioners in calling for improvements to the appointment reservation system.
“I think we all agree it’s been a case of ‘whack a mole’ where people have been going in one direction and then rushing in another,’’ he said.
“We need to have one unified vaccination reservation system where people feel equity, feel fairness and feel that if they get on the list on a certain date, their place on the list will be preserved and someone is not going to jump ahead of them because a site opened up with a couple of hundred doses.”
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