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Adapted from Brookings; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Black and Hispanic/Latino Americans have coronavirus mortality rates as much as 10x higher than white Americans' when age is taken into account, according to a new analysis by the Brookings Institution.

Why it matters: We've known that minorities are being hit harder by the coronavirus, but we didn't know it was this bad.

Between the lines: White Americans tend to be older than black and Latino Americans, putting a higher percentage of white people in older and thus more vulnerable age brackets. That's skewed the overall death rate by race.

  • When unadjusted for age, black people have a death rate twice that for whites, and Hispanics' death rate is about the same as whites'.
  • But when age is taken into account, the death rate for black Americans is 3.6 times that of white Americans, and Hispanics' is 2.5 times higher.

The bottom line: "Race gaps in vulnerability to Covid-19 highlight the accumulated, intersecting inequities facing Americans of color (but especially Black people) in jobs, housing, education, criminal justice – and in health," the authors write.

Go deeper: Why the coronavirus pandemic is hitting minorities harder

Go deeper

Sep 25, 2020 - Health

Young people accounted for 20% of coronavirus cases this summer

Hundreds of beachgoers pack in without social distancing in July. Photo: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

People in their 20s accounted for more than 20% of all COVID-19 cases between June and August, analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows, bringing the median age of coronavirus patients to 37, down from 46 in the spring.

Why it matters: Young people are less vulnerable to serious illness, but they contributed to community spread over the summer, the analysis says — meaning they likely infected older, higher-risk people, especially in the South.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Sep 24, 2020 - World

Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A global initiative to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines now includes most of the world — but not the U.S., China or Russia.

Why it matters: Assuming one or more vaccines ultimately gain approval, there will be a period of months or even years in which supply lags far behind global demand. The COVAX initiative is an attempt to ensure doses go where they're most needed, rather than simply to countries that can produce or buy them at scale.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Sep 25, 2020 - Health

Where bringing students back to school is most risky

Data: Coders Against COVID; Note: Rhode Island and Puerto Rico did not meet minimum testing thresholds for analysis. Values may not add to 100% due to rounding; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Schools in Southern and Midwestern states are most at risk of coronavirus transmission, according to an analysis by Coders Against COVID that uses risk indicators developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Thankfully, schools have not yet become coronavirus hotspots, the Washington Post reported this week, and rates of infection are lower than in the surrounding communities. But that doesn't mean schools are in the clear, especially heading into winter.

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