April is also recognized as National Minority Health Month, in an effort to highlight and address the health disparities experienced in minority communities. This is especially prevalent among kidney and dialysis patients; Hispanic or Latino Americans 1.3 times more likely to have kidney failure than white Americans, Black or African Americans are almost 4 times more likely, American Indians and Alaska Natives are 1.2 times more likely, and Asian Americans are also at a higher risk.

Additionally, the main risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD) disproportionately affect minorities. Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, family history of kidney failure, diabetes, or high blood pressure, and obesity are all seen at much higher rates among minority communities than in white communities. All of this, of course, is further complicated by COVID-19 and the fact that minority communities have less access to healthcare.

This year, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) is using Minority Health Month to focus on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority communities and emphasize the need for individuals in those communities to get vaccinated as soon as they are able to. The #VaccineReady theme is designed to empower communities to get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines, share accurate vaccine information, participate in clinical trials, get vaccinated when the time comes, and practice COVID-19 safety measures.

Visit the National Minority Health Month 2021 website at https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/nmhm/ for more information on the vaccines, ways you can get involved, and for access to a toolkit with graphics you can share on social media to help promote the message.