AAWP Ethnic Health Report – January 7, 2022
It is much tougher to get children vaccinated and older African Americans boosted – COVID-19 Resource Center Data on Children
As of early December, more than 2.3 million children aged 5 to 11 years had developed COVID-19 and 209 had died. A recent study shows a 4 fold increase in children admitted to the hospital over last year .According to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), only 27% of parents of 5- to 11-year-olds are keen to immunize their children against COVID-19, whereas 30% said they definitely won’t vaccinate their children. One-third of parents said they will “wait and see” before deciding how to proceed.
“We now have over a year’s worth of data of this vaccine being given, and we’ve not seen any long-term serious side effects from it. .While serious adverse effects such as anaphylaxis or thrombosis are possible, they’re also rare. And researchers have found no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine leads to infertility. Despite the lack of severe complications associated with the COVID-19 vaccine, hesitancy remains high. Yet, there was a time when vaccines were embraced by the public—even following a pharmaceutical disaster.
Older Black Americans not getting the Booster
The CDC also reports race/ethnicity of people ages sixty-five and older who have received an additional/ booster vaccine dose at the federal level. Among this group, three-quarters of booster recipients were White (74%), 7% were Black, 8% were Hispanic, 4% were Asian, and AIAN and NHOPI people made up less than 1% of recipients (0.5% and 0.1%, respectively). However, the data also show an uptick in the shares of recent booster doses going to Black and Hispanic people.
Portable prostate Cancer Test may help reach undeserved Men
A highly portable and rapid prostate cancer screening kit could provide early warning to populations with higher incidence of prostate cancer and particularly those with limited access to health care, such as African American men.
The proof-of-concept test, described online Nov. 12 in the journal Current Research in Biotechnology, is inexpensive and uses a test strip and a small cube-shaped 1.6-inch reader to quantify a marker of prostate cancer – called prostate-specific antigen (PSA) – from a drop of blood in minutes.
“We’ll be able to take a drop of blood in a community setting such as a barbershop and be able to deliver results in 10 to 15 minutes right there, which can indicate when somebody needs to come in for further tests,” said Dr. Saurabh Mehta, the Janet and Gordon Lankton Professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and the paper’s senior author. Balaji Srinivasan, a research associate in Mehta’s research group, is the paper’s first author.
Why is it Important African American men frequently do not have access to prostate cancer PSA screening and are diagnosed with more advanced prostate cancer, contributing to disproportionately higher mortality rates. PSA testing frequency has declined among all U.S. ethnic and racial groups over the last decade, with the rate of decline steeper for African American men, particularly those between 40 and 54 years old. Close to 43% of African American men aged forty-one and older have never had a PSA test, according to one study.
Unconscious Bias in the Health Care Profession Alive and Well
In this week’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine Damon Tweetie, MD, author book black men in white coats reviews the history of the healthcare system is an attempt to deal with racism and unconscious bias. The title of the commentary is Racism and Health. He suggests there has been a lot of talk about the situation in academia, but little action. He made some suggestions on what it is going to take to turn the situation around. So that African Americans are treated equally in the healthcare system and that reflects on Health outcomes.
First, he suggests we change our language regarding race and first, we can change our language regarding race and health, seeking greater precision in discussing geographic ancestry and its relationship to disease-specific risks, while teaching future physicians about the powerful and problematic social influence of racial classifications.
Second, we need to cultivate and sustain a workforce of thriving Black clinicians.
Why This Is Important. Not much moved the needle on racism in the health care system. As usual we have been studied more often than we have been treated. The steps he proposes seems simple concept but difficult to implement. But we must keep trying.