COVID-19’s Unequal Impact

February 01, 2021
COVID has disproportionately affected racial/ethnic groups in Maryland and nationwide, with Black and Hispanic people succumbing to the disease at higher rates.

Health disparities that existed prior to the pandemic have worsened over the past year. And, as our state progresses in its vaccine rollout, the same pattern can be seen.

To the extent “vaccine hesitancy” is a contributor to disparities, we need to offer information and let people see their family, friends, and colleagues receive the vaccine. Your hospitals continue to educate their own teams, patients, and community members to influence informed decision making around COVID-19 vaccination. On Friday Gov. Hogan unveiled a GoVAX public information campaign aimed largely at ensuring vulnerable groups know the benefits of vaccination and how to receive it.

Last week MHA and our field came out in force to back legislation to boost health equity, including one bill to promote implicit bias training for health care workers and another to establish Health Equity Resource Communities.

At the national level, President Biden signed four executive orders advancing racial equity and committed to “embedding racial equity across his administration’s response to COVID-19 and the economic crisis.”

These challenges seem never-ending, but Maryland is better positioned than most states to address them. Working together—hospitals, community partners, and state and local government—we can tackle disparities, achieve greater health equity, and advance the health of all Marylanders.

Bob Atlas
President & CEO 
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