Delaware needs a medical school

A little over a year ago, an alarming trend emerged. As more and more Delawareans received COVID-19 vaccinations, communities of color received vaccinations at a much lower rate than other communities. That inequity in vaccination rates contributed to increased fatalities in Black and brown communities.

Gov. John Carney and Director of Public Health Dr. Karyl Rattay, along with your New Castle County Paramedics and our leading hospital systems, took action to address this inequity.

And Dr. Joan Coker got to work. She leaned heavily on her colleagues in the Delaware Chapter of the National Medical Association, the state association of black physicians, and so many other informal networks. Collectively, with Coker and other NMA physicians leading the way, they mounted one of the fastest and most comprehensive life-saving public health campaigns in our state’s history.

Together they vaccinated nearly 15,000 Delawareans, the overwhelming majority of whom were people of color and others in under-vaccinated communities. Without these heroic efforts, there undoubtedly would have been higher levels of fatality in our state, particularly in black and brown communities.

As we work to truly build back better, to understand how we can be better prepared for the next health crisis in our community, one strategy to address unequal health outcomes is clear.

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