Scott decries ‘racist response’ to BIPOC vaccine eligibility

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 5:11 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 6, 2021 at 3:32 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has condemned the “racist response” to his administration’s decision to make Black, Indigenous and people of color of any age eligible for a coronavirus vaccine before residents of other races.

The state granted preferential vaccine access about a week ago to the BIPOC community and anyone living in their households.

Data shows this group has higher infection and hospitalization rates in Vermont which is why the state decided to prioritize them in the vaccine rollout.

Vaccination rates are also much lower among BIPOC Vermonters compared to non-Hispanic white people. Scott called the disparity in vaccination rates “unacceptable.”

“The community that was suffering to a greater extent was not actually getting vaccine to the same extent that they should,” Vt. Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said.

More than 9,000 BIPOC Vermonters have gotten at least one shot and 4,600 more have made appointments.

Vermonters of other races aged 40+ became eligible for vaccinations Monday, with those 30+ scheduled for eligibility April 12 and all others 16+ eligible April 19.

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