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Wolstein Center vaccine clinic treating disproportionately low number of Black, minority patients

Just 9% of all patients at the mass vaccination clinic have been Black, even though African Americans account for roughly 30% of Cuyahoga County's total population.

CLEVELAND — New data just released to 3News Investigates provides the racial breakdown of COVID-19 vaccines being administered at the Wolstein Center in downtown Cleveland, and those numbers are troubling.

Of the 120,000 shots administered at the mass vaccination site so far, only 9% were put in the arms of African Americans, compared to 75% to those who are white. That's especially worrisome since Blacks comprise roughly 30% of Cuyahoga County residents and nearly half of all Clevelanders.

The Cleveland State University site launched last month with promises to vaccinate 6,000 people a day. It's central location was specifically chosen to create better access for people of color, whose vaccine numbers have been disproportionately underrepresented in Ohio as well as the country.

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While overall numbers at the Wolstein Center have been good and patients have been impressed by the operations, leaders continue to be concerned about the unbalanced statistics among vulnerable populations. County health officials on Friday pledged to continue efforts to ensure more minorities are vaccinated while also touting supposed progress on that front in the county overall.

"The percentage of minorities that have been vaccinated at whatever location [is] way up," Executive Armond Budish told 3News' Rachel Polansky. "In Central Collinwood, Fairfax and Kinsman, the percentages have ranged from 70% to upwards of 90% increase[s] over the last three weeks."