Minoritized Populations Suffer Higher COVID Mortality Rates in Minnesota, Despite Higher Rates of Vaccination

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

While Black, Hispanic, and Asian adults under the age of 65 are vaccinated at higher rates than White adults of the same age in Minnesota, COVID mortality rates for Black, Hispanic and Asian adults were higher than the mortality rate for White adults during the Delta and Omicron COVID waves, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. In addition, the mortality rate for Native Americans is disproportionately higher than the difference in the vaccination rate between Native American and White Minnesotans. In an interview with KARE 11, study co-author J.P. Leider, PhD, stated “It’s not biology, it’s society. So the question becomes - what do we do about it?” The study argues for an urgent need to center health equity in the development of COVID policy measures. Lead author Elizabeth Wrigley-Field, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Minnesota Population Center. Leider is Senior Fellow, Division of Health Policy and Management, Director of the Center for Public Health Systems in the School of Public Health, and an Affiliate Faculty member at the Center for Bioethics. The Center for Bioethics is a Consortium member center.