Asian American Disparities and COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
About a year ago, a Politico article discussed how the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans have largely overlooked Asian Americans in many important ways. This issue is compounded by the rise in AAPI hate crimes and scapegoating throughout the pandemic. Data is an incredibly imporant source of information in healthcare, allowing us to identify diaparities and assess equity. However, all AAPI ethnicities are lumped into one category as "Asian" or "Other" which ignores important disparities in terms of income, education, and access to healthcare. For example, Vietnamese Americans "reported fair or poor health more than twice as often as non-Hispanic whites and Asians overall" and this disparity is ignored if we ignore the heterogeneity in the Asian population.
The model minority myth could severly harm Asian Americans in healthcare settings since physicians may act on preconcieved notions and not put in the work to get to know their patients and what barriers they face. Within our matching algorithm, we allow Asian patients to the opportunity to provide more granular information about their identity and allow for disaggregation of data regarding these patients.