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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Black Americans are being vaccinated at far lower rates than white Americans in the states that collect such information, Kaiser Health News reports.

Why it matters: Communities of color are disproportionately vulnerable to the virus, and the vaccination trend so far is likely perpetuating these disparities.

Details: In the 16 states that have released vaccination data by race, white residents have been vaccinated at rates that are often two or three times higher than Black residents.

  • The majority of the initial vaccine doses have gone to health care workers. But the share of health care workers who are Black exceeds — and often far exceeds — the share of vaccinated residents who are Black.
  • "The unbalanced uptake among what might seem like a relatively easy-to-vaccinate workforce doesn't bode well for the rest of the country's dispersed population," KHN writes.

Between the lines: The gap in vaccination rates is largely due to access issues, misinformation, and mistrust of the health care system, which stems from historic racism.

  • The slow national rollout of the vaccines has also led to calls for speed to be prioritized, which can come at the cost of equity.

What they're saying: "My concern now is if we don't vaccinate the population that's highest-risk, we're going to see even more disproportional deaths in Black and brown communities," Fola May, a UCLA physician and health equity researcher, told KHN. "It breaks my heart."

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Don McGahn agrees to House panel interview on Russia report

Former White House counsel Don McGahn during a discussion at the NYU Global Academic Center in Washington, D.C., in 2019. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn agreed Wednesday to speak with the House Judiciary Committee about the Russia report, with certain conditions, per a court filing.

Why it matters: The agreement ends a two-year standoff after McGahn, a key player in former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, repeatedly refused to agree to a subpoena for testimony — resulting in the matter being taken to court.

Of note: One of the conditions is that committee conducts a "transcribed interview," rather than calling for him to testify at a public hearing.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.