COVID-19 vaccination of adolescents and young adults of color: viewing acceptance and uptake with a health equity lens
Tamera Coyne-Beasley; Samantha V. Hill; Gregory Zimet (et al.)
Published: April 2021
Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged health-care systems across the world and magnified health inequalities related to systemic racism and globalization. As of February 2021, there have been over 100 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over two million deaths reported to the World Health Organization. Within the United States (U.S.), Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other People of Color (BILPOC) are diagnosed, hospitalized, and die at 1.5, 3.3, and 2.8 times the rates of Whites, respectively. BILPOC are also more likely to have defined medical conditions associated with higher risk of severe COVID-19 infections
. The disproportionate morbidity and mortality seen among BILPOC adults also impacts BILPOC adolescents and young adults (AYAs). Compared with Whites, BILPOC AYAs are 1) more likely to be essential workers and unable to work from home; 2) less likely to be able to take sick or medical leave, jeopardizing their jobs and families' livelihoods, 3) more likely to reside in intergenerational households with greater crowding; 4) more likely to experience the grief and psychological stress from the death of a loved one due to COVID-19, and 5) more likely to live in households with increased incidence of COVID-19 comorbidities
. These and other effects of structural racism can undermine AYA success in remaining free from COVID-19, including limiting vaccine access and uptake.