Farhiya Aden receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Minneapolis Convention Center on February 5, 2021. Ben Hovland | Sahan Journal

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Minnesota has a significant population of hard-working Hispanics who play an important role in economic growth. It is widely known that they and other communities of color are the hardest hit from COVID-19 and most vulnerable. The number of cases and death in the communities of color are proportionately higher but perhaps they are not on the radar screen of vaccination.

One must ask why Minnesota is not releasing data by race and ethnicity for those being vaccinated. It has been just the lip service by Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm that the vaccination data will be released soon. I know that when registering for vaccination, ethnicity, and race is asked which implies the data is there. Yet, it is being withheld from the public. Is it because such data will show Minnesota’s disparity and inequity of vaccination between the Whites and minority population?

Minnesota and Minnesotans are better to have people of color and racial and ethnic diversity across the State. Hispanic people, in fact, are critical in keeping the service-based sector alive and well and thus adding to economic growth. Let us hope that the ‘Minnesota Nice’ gets nicer with diverse people of all races and ethnicities. Thus, Minnesota should take due care in vaccinating people of color and let it be public that we care. Minnesota Department of Health must show sensitivity to earn the trust of Hispanics and others who may not be authorized to work due to their immigration status.

Vijendra Agarwal

Vijendra Agarwal, Ph.D., is co-founder and president of Vidya Gyan, an Inver Grove Heights-based nonprofit that empowers youth in rural and suburban areas in India through education, health, and overall...