Austonia AM
×
becomeMemberIcon

become a member

Travis County has a higher fully vaccinated rate than the state overall. But it is also reporting starker disparities across demographic groups. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

More than 55% of Travis County residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated, compared to less than 45% of Texas residents 12 and older, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Despite outperforming the state in terms of overall vaccination rates, the county is reporting starker disparities across its demographic groups.


Black residents, who make up nearly 9% of the Travis County population, account for only 3.6% of Travis County residents who are fully vaccinated. Black residents make up 12.9% of the Texas population and 7.55% of fully vaccinated Texans.

Latino residents, who make up around one-third of the Travis County population, account for only one-fifth of Travis County residents who are fully vaccinated. The difference is less stark statewide: Latino residents make up 39.7% of the Texas population and 30.94% of fully vaccinated Texans.

Asian residents make up roughly equal shares of the county population and those vaccinated: 7.4% and 8%, respectively. The same is true for white residents, who make up 49% of the county population and 46% of those vaccinated.

Community leaders in the Black and Latino communities have been advocating for more equitable access to vaccines since before the rollout began last December. Austin Public Health has been offering pop-up community vaccine clinics and working with local business partners to make sure the hardest-hit communities can get time off to go get vaccinated.

But still, it's been a lasting issue. "We were 1st to be infected & last to receive equitable access to vaccines," Austin Latino Coalition member Paul Saldaña tweeted Tuesday in reference to the county's disparate vaccine rates. He has criticized Austin Public Health and local elected officials for not doing enough throughout the pandemic to address these inequities.

Similar issues arose during the testing rollout earlier in the pandemic, and Black and Latino residents have been disproportionately likely to be hospitalized with or die from COVID, according to Austin Public Health data.

"At this point in the fight against COVID we are using a very intentional outreach strategy to make sure that our communities of color, who have been hardest hit by this disease, but still have the lowest rates of vaccine uptake, are not only getting equitable access to vaccine … but also we are working in a way that supports and incentivizes them to get vaccine," Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said during a press conference last week.

Popular

A second person connected to Saturday morning's Sixth Street mass shooting has been arrested. The Austin Police Department confirmed they arrested a 17-year-old male suspect in Killeen on Monday.

The suspect has been identified as Jeremiah Roshaun Leland James Tabb, who will be charged as an adult with aggravated assault, officials confirmed. He was arrested without incident while enrolled in a summer school class.

Keep Reading Show less
(Pexels)

With high temperatures looming over Austin for the next week, The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which controls about 90% of the state's electricity flow, is asking residents to conserve energy usage through Friday, June 18.

Keep Reading Show less

Douglas Kantor, the victim who lost his life in the Sixth Street mass shooting, was going to marry his high school sweetheart. (Courtesy of Kantor family)

Family, friends and the community are remembering Douglas John Kantor, the 25-year-old who was killed on Sixth Street after a mass shooting that injured 13 others early Saturday morning.

Keep Reading Show less