Today, Covered California joined with African American health leaders to encourage Black Californians to address vaccine confidence, get inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available and to sign up for quality health insurance coverage through Covered California or Medi-Cal.
Speakers included Dr. David Carlisle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science- Los Angeles, Dr. Elaine Batchlor, Chief Executive Officer of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital and Dr. Adrian James Chief Medical Officer of West Oakland Health Council. These health leaders provided up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 and its impact on communities of color and health care delivery, as well as the importance of getting vaccinated.
Two recent national surveys show that Black Americans are the racial and ethnic group least likely to get vaccinated. The studies pointed to a fear of side effects and a lack of confidence in the government and medical community, something California health leaders say needs to be addressed and acknowledged to move forward with protecting our communities from COVID-19.
A Pew Research Center survey found that only 42 percent of Black Americans said they would “definitely” or “probably” take the COVID-19 vaccine if it were available today, which is well below the results of Asian (83 percent), Hispanic (63 percent) and White (61 percent) groups. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey also found that willingness of Black adults (62 percent) to get vaccinated was lower than White (73 percent) and Hispanic (71 percent) groups. In addition, the most recent data from the California Department of Public Health shows that the rate of death associated with COVID-19 among Black Californians (7.1 percent) is nearly double the infection rate (4 percent).
The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of quality health care coverage. Right now, an estimated 1.2 million Californians are uninsured — including an estimated 67,000 African Americans — even though they are eligible for financial help through Covered California, or they qualify for low-cost or no-cost coverage through Medi-Cal.
In response to the crisis, and to ensure that Californians have the health care coverage they need during the pandemic, Covered California took the unprecedented step of giving consumers until December 30 to sign up for coverage that begins on January 1, 2021. Open enrollment ends January 30th and consumers who sign up in January can have their coverage take effect on February 1, 2021.
You can also help spread the word by encouraging your network to visit www.CoveredCA.com to learn more about their coverage options. Consumers can get free and confidential assistance, in a variety of languages from a certified enroller by having a certified enroller call them.
If you have any questions, please connect with us.
Testing is free and available to anyone with symptoms, and to any health care, front line, or essential worker even if they have no symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms cough, fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or a new loss of taste or smell.