MMWR News Synopsis

Friday, July 16, 2021


COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage Among Insured Persons Aged ≥16 Years, by Race/Ethnicity and Other Selected Characteristics — Eight Integrated Health Care Organizations, United States, December 14, 2020–May 15, 2021

CDC Media Relations

An analysis of COVID-19 vaccination data shows that vaccination rates were lower among some racial/ethnic minority groups as well as among younger adults – and the differences among some racial/ethnic minority groups widened over time. Public health officials and health care providers can increase COVID-19 vaccination rates by improving vaccine access for and engagement with young adults, particularly those from racial and ethnic minority groups. Using data from CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink, COVID-19 vaccination coverage among people 16 years and older was analyzed by sex, race and ethnicity, age, and other characteristics between December 14, 2020, and May 15, 2021. Coverage was lowest among people aged 18 to 24 (29%) compared with other age groups. As of May 15, coverage among people who received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine was highest among non-Hispanic Asian (57%) and non-Hispanic white (55%) people and lowest among Hispanic (41%) and non-Hispanic Black (41%) people. Similar racial/ethnic variations were observed among those who were fully vaccinated, with some differences widening over time. Addressing vaccine misinformation, barriers to access, and vaccine hesitancy could help increase vaccination rates and reduce illnesses and deaths from COVID-19, especially among racial and ethnic minority groups. Ensuring that vaccination opportunities are easily accessible and available in places where people live and work could also improve vaccination coverage, particularly among young adults.

COVID-19 Vaccine Administration, by Race and Ethnicity — North Carolina, December 14, 2020–April 6, 2021

CDC Media Relations

Black and Hispanic people have been more affected by COVID-19 than non-Hispanic white people. In North Carolina, the state health department’s use of effective vaccine distribution strategies increased COVID-19 vaccination among Black and Hispanic people. In North Carolina, Black people were almost two times as likely to die from COVID-19 during January–September 2020 as non-Hispanic white people. The rate of COVID-19 was about 2 times higher among Hispanic people compared with non-Hispanic people. To increase vaccination rates among Black and Hispanic people in the state, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS):

  • Identified communities with a larger proportion of Black, Hispanic, or American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) people age 65 years or older and then focused on communities with lower vaccination rates among these groups.
  • Increased vaccine supply for providers serving these communities.
  • Asked providers to ensure that the proportion of vaccine doses given to Black and Hispanic people matched or was more than the proportion of the population these groups represented in their communities.
  • Promoted partnerships between vaccination providers and community- and faith-based organizations, with focused communication activities and toolkits to support access to vaccination for Black and Hispanic people.

In North Carolina, among nearly 3 million people vaccinated during December 14, 2020–April 6, 2021, the proportion who were non-Hispanic Black people increased from 9% to 19%, and the proportion who were Hispanic people increased from 4% to 10%. These percentages approached the proportion of the state population made up by these groups (22% of North Carolinians are Black people and 8% are Hispanic people).

Acceptability of Adolescent COVID-19 Vaccination Among Adolescents and Parents of Adolescents — United States, April 15–23, 2021 (Early Release July 9, 2021)

CDC Media Relations

SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with a Gymnastics Facility — Oklahoma, April–May 2021 (Early Release July 9, 2021)

CDC Media Relations

Recommendations and Reports

Plague causes outbreaks in the U.S. and other countries and is a bioterrorism risk. In a vital update to national preparedness measures, CDC releases recommendations for U.S. health care providers on treatment of plague infections and treatment of people potentially exposed to plague. Plague, also known as the Black Death, has killed millions worldwide and still causes disease in the United States and around the world. A bioweapon attack with Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague, could potentially infect thousands –  requiring rapid and informed decision-making by clinicians and public health agencies to prevent loss of life. Fortunately, plague is treatable with antibiotics. After a comprehensive review process, CDC developed plague treatment and prophylaxis recommendations. These guidelines include several important updates and expanded antibiotic treatment options. The recommendations can inform treatment of patients infected with plague by naturally occurring means (most commonly by the bite of an infected rodent flea) or help prevent symptoms in the aftermath of a bioterrorist attack.



CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

Page last reviewed: July 15, 2021