SUBSCRIBE NOW

Delaware announces plans to expand COVID-19 vaccine distribution, target communities of color

Meredith Newman
Delaware News Journal

Delaware will expand its COVID-19 vaccine distribution program to better target communities of color, which so far make up a small percentage of those who have received the vaccination, state officials announced Tuesday. 

Of the more than 100,000 doses administered, 38% of recipients are white, 4% are Black, 2% are Hispanic/Latino and 1% are Asian, according to data from the Division of Public Health. 

"Another/multiple” is labeled as the race or ethnicity for about 23%. Plus, the race of 31% of recipients is unknown, despite this data point being a required component of vaccine reporting. 

Senior Cpl. Katie Watts, left, receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Lt. David Aber Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020.

COVID-19 VACCINE FAQ:You have questions about the COVID vaccine. We have answers.

State health officials say some providers did not collect race data or input it correctly. Gov. John Carney is expected to announce a plan to ensure that providers are reporting race and demographic information to the state, officials said. 

Hospitals will also be receiving 4,000 doses to administer to Delaware seniors and their own health care workers, and first responders will be able to receive their second dose starting Feb. 3, officials said in the announcement Tuesday. 

Delaware is currently in Phase 1B, which includes those age 65 and older and the following essential workers: police, fire, teachers, child care providers, food processing workers, correctional officers, postal service, public transit and grocery workers. 

The state will partner with the Wilmington Housing Authority to vaccinate residents age 65 and older, who live in senior high-rises, officials said. Select pharmacies have also received 4,000 doses this week with the purpose of vaccinating underserved communities. 

LEFT BEHIND?:Delaware minorities were hit hard by COVID-19. Are they getting the vaccine?

Health organizations such as ChristianaCare, Beebe Healthcare, ENT & Allergy of Delaware, and federally qualified health centers will be creating events to also vaccinate those 65 and older in underserved communities. 

First responders who have been previously vaccinated by the state will be able to received their second dose between Feb. 3 and Feb. 18. The Department of Education also plans to vaccinate 1,200 teachers and staff members this week. 

Curative will also vaccinate about 2,000 people at indoor events Tuesday through Friday in Dover. All appointments have already been booked by those who registered on the waiting list, officials said. 

DELAWARE VACCINE NEWS:State ranks among nation's leaders in vaccines administered but still in early stages

Are you 65 or older? Sign up for the State of Delaware’s vaccination waiting list at vaccinerequest.delaware.gov. You can also call the Vaccination Call Center at 1-833-643-1715.   

Contact Meredith Newman at (302) 324-2386 or at mnewman@delawareonline.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MereNewman.