During the first month of the U.S. coronavirus vaccination program, 12,928,749 people received at least one dose of vaccine between Dec. 14 and Jan. 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

Vaccines were administered in all 64 jurisdictions and five federal entities reporting data to CDC, officials said.

Among 97% of vaccine recipients, 63.0% were women and 37% were men.

Of the 99% of those whose age was known, 55% were 50 and older, 16.8% were 40 to 49, and 28.2% were between 18 and 39.

Among the approximately 52% of those whose race/ethnicity was known, 60.4% were white, and 39.6% represented racial and ethnic minorities.

The breakdown included 14.4% categorized as multiple or other race/ethnicity, 11.5% Hispanic/Latino, 6% Asian, 5.4% Black, 2% American Indian/Native American.

The CDC said race/ethnicity was unknown or not reported for 6,222,052 (48.1%) persons initiating vaccination.

The 5.4% of African American recipients are much lower than the proportion of Black people in either a long-term care home or who work in the health care field.

The CDC noted that it still has a lack of information.

The report noted that while age and gender data information was culled in all cases of those who took the vaccine, only about 50% of the records included details on race or ethnicity.

“More complete reporting of race and ethnicity data at the provider and jurisdictional levels is critical to ensure rapid detection of and response to potential disparities in COVID-19 vaccination,” CDC officials wrote.

More than 26.6 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus since the pandemic began nearly one year ago, and at least 453,000 have died. African Americans have disproportionately been affected, reportedly dying at more than 1.5 times the rate of white people.

“Ensuring equity in Covid vaccine distribution requires collecting accurate data on who is receiving vaccinations,” tweeted Dr. Taison Bell of the University of Virginia.

Bell’s colleague at the University of Virginia, Dr. Ebony Hilton, noted, “COVID-19 has claimed the lives of over [451,000] Americans. Race has been identified as an independent risk factor for whether or not someone lives or dies for every age. Yet, the majority of states are not reporting the race of those they are vaccinating. This must change.”

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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