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CDC awards Pennsylvania $36M to address health disparities in minority, rural communities
Patriot-News - 6/10/2021
Pennsylvania will receive $36 million from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address disparities in health outcomes for minority and rural communities.
“These grants demonstrate our steadfast commitment to keeping equity at the center of everything we do,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said, in a written statement.
Philadelphia was awarded $8.3 million with the remainder going to the state Department of Health as part of a larger $2.3 billion nationwide plan to address the issue.
In Pennsylvania, the total also includes nearly $5 million set aside for rural communities, which also experience problems with health access and worse outcomes.
Data is still a sticking point: according to CDC data analyzed by the Kaiser Family Foundation, racial information was missing from 43% of its national vaccination records. Where that information is available, significant disparities are obvious.
In Pennsylvania, Black residents represent 11% of the total population but 13% of all COVID-19 deaths. So far, they comprise just 5% of all those who’ve received at least one dose of vaccine.
The CDC has also found disparities among rural residents. Nationwide, 39% of adults in rural counties received at least one dose of vaccine compared to 46% in urban ones.
This $36 million will be used to narrow these longstanding gaps by expanding access and awareness.
Wallace McKelvey may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @wjmckelvey. Find PennLive on Facebook.
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