Independence Blue Cross (Independence) associate resource groups Latinos con Proposito and the Multicultural Men’s Group sponsored a moderated seminar focused on COVID-19’s disproportionate effects on minority communities. The discussion was led by Rich Snyder, M.D., EVP Facilitated Health Networks and Chief Medical Officer at IBX and Oneyka Nwankwo, M.D. Epidemiologist and Infectious Disease Specialist at Penn Medicine.
In “COVID-19: The Impact on Minority Communities, Vaccination, and an Outlook on the Future,” Nwankwo gave an overview of the pandemic followed by its differential impact by race. African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans are overrepresented in the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. African Americans are the most impacted in all areas.
Dr. Nwankwo acknowledged vaccines are the way forward. He addressed vaccine hesitancy, safety, and effectiveness, debunked myths, and communicated two overarching goals to decrease hospitalizations and deaths: 1) to follow through with a targeted vaccine campaign and 2) to achieve high vaccine uptake in the general population to reach herd immunity.
The discussion concluded with a Q+A session between Dr. Nwankwo and Dr. Rich Snyder. Independence Account Executive Monique Muldoon and senior Billing Analyst Duane Caldwell moderated the discussion.