Special Populations: Black Communities

Black Washington, DC community members account for 46% of all residents[1], while also being the lowest vaccinated population in the region[2]. Citywide, Black residents also make up about 80% of COVID-19 deaths because of disparities that affect multiple populations in the region.[3] This data unfortunately mirrors what’s happening across major American cities. Black Americans are disproportionately affected by socioeconomic and health disparities[4] leading to lack of trust and misinformation to run ramped among multiple communities. The distrust that is enabled by systemic racism across the country has ultimately affected Black DC residents, especially within the medical field.

Many individuals that have died from the coronavirus have underlying conditions, according to the CDC.[5] Anyone of any background is able to get vaccinated for free through the walk-up vaccination clinics hosted on the “get vaccinated” webpage through the coronavirus DC Gov. Schedules listed daily based on Ward and Facility Name. The District’s Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCOs) also offer free of charge transportation options for those in need, to and from, appointments. Request transportation through one of the four choices below:

  • AmeriHealth Caritas DC | Call 1-800-315-3485. Rides available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • CareFirst Community Health Plan DC | Call MTM1 at 1-855-824-5693. Rides available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Health Services for Children with Special Needs | Call SET Transportation at 1-866-991-5433
  • MedStar Family Choice DC | Call 1-866-201-9974

To find the most complete and up to date information provided by the Washington, DC government, visit their specialized coronavirus website and review key metrics[6], vaccination data[7], DC public school data[8], and variant surveillance in the region[9].

Resources –

[1] “U.S. Census Bureau Quickfacts: District of Columbia.” Census.GOV, 1 July 2021, https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/DC.

[2] “DC Covid-19 Vaccine Demographics.” Open Data DC, 8 Dec. 2021, https://opendata.dc.gov/datasets/dc-covid-19-vaccine-demographics/explore.

[3] NAACP. “Racial Disparities in Washington, DC and Covid-19 Vaccine.” NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, 19 May 2022, https://www.naacpldf.org/naacp-publications/ldf-blog/chocolate-city-vanilla-vaccine-racial-disparities-in-washington-dc-covid-19-vaccine-administration/.

[4] CDC. “What Is Health Equity?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 July 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/healthequity/whatis/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcommunity%2Fhealth-equity%2Fracial-ethnic-disparities%2Findex.html.

[5] “Underlying Medical Conditions and Severe Illness among 540,667 Adults Hospitalized with Covid-19, March 2020–March 2021.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 July 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2021/21_0123.htm.

[6] “Key Metrics.” Coronavirus, 3 July 2022, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/key-metrics.

[7] “Vaccination Data.” Coronavirus, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/data/vaccination.

[8] “DC Schools Data.” Coronavirus, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/dc-schools-data.

[9] “Variant Surveillance.” Coronavirus, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/variant-surveillance.

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