Who’s Getting the Vaccine in Virginia?

More than 80,000 Virginians have been given the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, according to data reported today by the Virginia Department of Health. Presumably, the overwhelming majority has been administered to health care workers, who are most likely to be exposed to, and to spread, the virus. Very few vaccines have been given to the elderly. Less than 2% of the doses have been given to the 80-year-old-and-up demographic that is most likely to die from the virus.

We can also see from the VDH data that the vast majority of people getting the vaccine are white. Blacks are under-represented, accounting for 8.6% of those vaccinated by 20% of the state’s population. Whether that shortfall can be attributed to the percentage of blacks in the healthcare workforce, fear of vaccination in the black population (you know, Tuskeegee and all), or some amorphous structural racism is too early to say.

The other obvious disparity is between men and women. Women are getting vaccinated at twice the rate of men — even though men are slightly more likely to die from the disease.

Looks like a clear-cut case of sexism to me!

No, actually, it doesn’t. The disparity can be explained by the distribution of women in the workforce. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, women comprise 64.4% of so-called front-line workers.

— JAB (with a hat top to John Butcher)