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Majority of people receiving COVID-19 vaccines are white, which Fauci calls 'disturbing'

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Delta variant's UK dominance sparks concerns in US Overnight Health Care: FDA says millions of J&J doses from troubled plant must be thrown out | WHO warns Africa falling far behind in vaccinations | Top CDC official says US not ready for next pandemic MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said on Friday that racial disparities in COVID-19 vaccination are “very disturbing.”

Fauci made the remark during an interview on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut.” He and host Joy Reid were discussing data that showed white populations were getting vaccinated at higher rates than communities of color.

"They’re getting a double whammy against them. Not only do they have the propensity because of their jobs out in the community to get infected; they have the underlying conditions that make them more likely to get a serious outcome," Fauci said of the underserved populations. "The proportions that you showed are very disturbing."

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While Fauci recognized a sense of “understandable vaccine hesitancy” among minority communities, he noted that it is important to actively expand vaccine access to those populations.

“We’ve got to really extend ourselves in the community to get the access to minority populations that they don’t have,” Fauci said, noting that President BidenJoe BidenBiden prepares to confront Putin Ukrainian president thanks G-7 nations for statement of support Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting MORE has actively set up vaccination centers in areas heavily populated by minority communities.

Fauci also said he’s been working to directly address vaccine hesitancy in communities of color.

“What we’ve been trying to do, and I take this very seriously, is extend yourself to the African American and Latino populations and explain to them that we totally respect why you’re being hesitant,” Fauci said. “But that history gets passed down, and you’ve go to say, look, we respect your concern, but these are the two or three reasons why you really need to get vaccinated, for your own health, for the health of your community and literally for the health of the entire nation.”

Black or African American populations are nearly three times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 than white populations and nearly two times more likely to die of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hispanic communities are 3.2 times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 and 2.3 times more likely to die.