Data show more white seniors in Arizona are getting COVID-19 vaccines than seniors of color. The inequity could get worse

KTAR News photo/Gabriel Gamiño

By Daniel Gonzalez |Arizona Republic

For many low-income seniors of color such as Phoenix resident Librado Otero Estrada, getting the COVID-19 vaccine has been an especially difficult if not insurmountable task.

On top of the challenges other eligible people have experienced, including the often frustrating process of figuring out how to register online for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, low-income seniors of color face many other obstacles that are preventing them from getting the shot.

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Yet because they often have higher rates of chronic medical conditions, low-income seniors of color are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus, making getting vaccines all the more critical, health experts say.

They often don’t own cars or don’t drive because of age and health issues, and therefore are dependent on someone else driving them to and from one of the limited COVID-19 vaccine sites.

Many don’t own computers or tablets or don’t have access to the Internet, making it difficult to register for a vaccine appointment. And many, such as Otero Estrada, an 81-year-old immigrant from Cuba, are more comfortable speaking languages other than English.

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