Some fear vaccination efforts in Arizona are leaving ethnic minorities behind

For the first time ever on Feb. 9, officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services released demographics showing who is getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but the numbers are now leaving many people to wonder if it's being distributed equally.

According to the numbers, nearly half of those vaccinated are white, while only 8.2% of those vaccinated are Latino/a, even though they make up nearly 32% of Arizona's population.

The same figure also shows less than 2% of vaccines have been given to the Black community, which makes up about 5% of the state's population.

Rodrigo San Martin with Clinico La Familia believes that it comes down to education and people not having smartphones, both of which make it harder to make appointments.

San Martin's clinic receives about 1,200 vaccines a week. 

"A lot of the elderly, especially in our community, don’t have resources," said San Martin. "Sometimes, they don’t have someone that can help them out to make those appointments, and that’s the reason why they’re falling behind, and there’s some other people in the same age group that have more technology, and they’ve been using that technology for a long time, so they know how to navigate the internet."

Health expert Will Humble says he's also concerned that lower-income families are at a disadvantage when it comes to making an appointment.

Humble says what the state needs to do is release the zip codes, allowing people to see the discrepancies, if there are any.

"In order to compete for those appointments, you need to be at home, need a flexible job, need to have a wireless router. You need to have a new computer, and you need to have [Google] Chrome or [Microsoft] Edge [internet browsers], because Chrome works better, and you have to be able to jump right on it and get those appointments as soon as they open. Who does that advantage? It advantages people need a flexible job, need to have wireless router. It favors wealthier families."