Health News Roundup

Vaccine outreach turns to barbershops and salons, and more in this week’s roundup

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Communication, trust needed to reassure CT’s vaccine-resistant 
Alison Cross, Connecticut Health I-Team, August 9
In Connecticut, the racial vaccination gap is widest among younger residents. Only 36% of Black residents ages 12 to 34 have gotten at least one vaccine dose, compared to 62% of white residents the same age, according to state data. Connecticut is in a pivotal position to fight racial disparities in vaccine distribution and discussion with the Black community will be key.
Related: Who in CT still hasn’t gotten a COVID-19 vaccine and why? Mary Katherine Wildeman and Jordan Fenster, Connecticut Post, August 7

Shave and a haircut, two shots: NY salons jump into vaccine outreach 
Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky, Gothamist, August 4
More than 250 barbershop and salon owners in New York and New Jersey are participating in an effort by stylists, White House officials, local health departments and public health researchers to address vaccine hesitancy in communities hit hard by the pandemic. The effort is the latest in a long line of public health initiatives at salons and barbershops, which research suggests can reach people who might otherwise miss out on the benefits of preventative care.
Related: Opinion: No, the unvaccinated aren’t all just being difficult, Bryce Covert, The New York Times, August 6

US comes in last in health care rankings of high-income countries
Tami Luhby, CNN, August 4 
The U.S. once again ranked last in access to health care, equity and outcomes among high-income countries, despite spending a far greater share of its economy on health care, a new report found. In addition to lower access to care, the U.S. ranked poorly on maternal mortality, infant mortality, life expectancy at age 60, and deaths that were potentially preventable with timely access to care, the survey found.

Opinion: Leveraging responsible AI to counteract bias in health care
Chris Hemphill, STAT, Aug. 6
Left unchecked, algorithmic approaches can perpetuate bias in health care. Implementing responsible AI can help reverse that. Many health systems have diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in place, but these rarely address the algorithms they routinely use for millions of patients.