Clark County aims to tackle racial equity when it comes to distributing COVID-19 vaccine

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues in the State of Nevada, one major concern on the minds of state leaders is equity. Health advocates are now working to tackle the issue in Clark County.

The latest numbers from the Southern Nevada Health District’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Snapshot” show 41% of vaccines distributed in Clark County have been given to white residents. Meanwhile, only 10% have been given to Hispanic residents and 6% to African American residents.

“We need to do a little bit better,” said Erika Marquez with the Nevada Minority Health and Equity Coalition (NMHEC).

Marquez says NMHEC is trying to make a difference by developing a task force with Immunize Nevada to address the inequities with the vaccine rollout. She says certain minority groups are not getting enough vaccines, compared to their percentage of the population, partially because of vaccine hesitancy and a lack of information.

“We are going to be looking at kind of those really important components about the communication pieces, like how are we disseminating information into the community,” Marquez said.

That is why NMHEC is releasing educational videos and hosting webinars about the vaccine. But the nonprofit acknowledges that even simply making appointments for the vaccine can be a challenge for some since not everyone has access to technology.

“It can’t be solely just on electronic means,” Marquez said.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak recently announced a vaccine equity initiative.

This is because data from the Southern Nevada Health District also shows that the zip codes in Clark County with the highest number of COVID-19 cases have some of the lowest vaccination frequency.

“That makes no sense,” Gov. Sisolak said. “These zip codes represent Southern Nevada’s working-class families, lower-income households, and communities of color.”

The State is working on expanding marketing and outreach to those groups, and Marquez is ready to help.

“We’re excited to work kind of hand-in-hand with the Governor on what equity looks like,” Marquez said

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