Guaranteeing access is part of the solution to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among some marginalized groups

May, 2021

May 26, 2021 — Most counties in the North Country are reporting progress in getting residents vaccinated against COVID-19 though there are disparities for certain groups.

A recent online panel talked about the history of medical and scientific abuse of Black and indigenous people creating a reluctance to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The panel members were Nicole Hylton-Patterson, head of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, and Aaron Mair, president of the Sierra Club board of directors. Mair is also an epidemiological spatial analyst with the New York State Department of Health. The event was more like a conversation between the two.

Hylton-Patterson is also a member of the health equity task force of the North Country. Early on, she talked about how the group looked into specific problems in the region that make getting vaccinated difficult or impossible for people.

“The North Country’s population is very specific. It’s different [than other areas] in New York State,” she said. “It is largely rural. It is largely white. Large pockets of poverty, dense poverty, isolation. The transportation system doesn’t go everywhere. So we have lots of challenges.”

Listen to the full story on North Country Public Radio