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Racial disparities seen within monkeypox vaccine rollout

Of all the recipients of the monkeypox vaccine, a little more than 75% are white or Caucasian.

DENVER, Colorado — In Colorado, much of the vaccine disparities the state experienced during COVID are once again occurring as health leaders work to provide vaccinations for monkeypox. 

As of right now, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been vaccinating those who are eligible or considered 'high risk' for contracting monkeypox. 

Despite the outreach efforts, white Coloradans are overwhelmingly receiving the vaccine before other demographics. 

Even with the Hispanic and Latino populations accounting for 22% of the population of Colorado, they only account for 9.7% of the vaccine recipients. African Americans only account for 3.6% of the entire vaccine rollout. Other minority groups trailing their white counterparts include: Asian (2.5%); Multi Race (4.1%); American Indian or Alaskan Native (0.3%). 

"This is the continued fight that we're in right (now) to create equitable access to health care across all areas of Disease Control. We know that this is systemic. We know that this has been going on for hundreds of years and so we really are working hard," said Brandy Emily, Health Equity Branch Chief with CDPHE. 

CDHPE continues to work to use outreach efforts at events. They are also working hand-in-hand with partnership organizations to create greater access.

"(The) goal is always to have our communities of color and those that are underrepresented and have been historically underserved to have those numbers equal those of the general population and those of the white Coloradans. We never like to see disparities. So we would look and hope for immediate change," said Emily.

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