By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Public health officials say they have determined that men of color in Los Angeles County have shockingly higher COVID-19 mortality rates than women, which is exacerbated by much lower vaccination rates.

Even with rather similar case rates between men and women, Los Angeles County Public Health officials say the COVID-19 mortality rate among men is nearly double, at 289 deaths per 100,000, than that of women, which is 153 deaths per 100,000.

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“That is definitely a concern understanding that it’s a communicable disease and how it spreads but at the same time just apprehensive,” said Kevin Hopkins, owner Kev’s Barbershop in Leimert Park.

Los Angeles, CA – April 09: Joel Jurez, 22, holds hid dog Yuki as medical assistant Adrian Davis administers a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic established by Councilman Curren Price in partnership with St. John’s Well Child and Family Center at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on Friday, April 9, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Mortality rates for Black and Latino men are also much higher than their Asian and white counterparts. According to LA County public health officials, Black men die of COVID-19 at a rate of 267 per 100,000. For Latino men, the mortality rate is a whopping 490 deaths per 100,000 people, nearly two and a half times the mortality rate for Asian men and more than three times the rate for white men.

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Hopkins added, based on people he has talked to, there is still a lot of hesitancy about getting the coronavirus vaccine in his community.

“From a historical standpoint, especially black males not trusting the medical industry,” said Hopkins.

In Los Angeles County, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths have dropped, thanks in part to ongoing effort to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. However, just 30% of the county’s men have received at least one dose of vaccine as of April 4, compared to 44% of women who have gotten at least one dose. Black and Latino men are also being vaccinated at lower rates than other groups – 19% of Black men and 17% of Latino men have received at least one dose of vaccine, compared to 35% of Asian men and 32% of white men.

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“We all need to work much harder to make sure that men, who have the greatest chances of dying from COVID-19, are aware of their risk and that we are making it very easy for them to get vaccinated,” Los Angeles County Public Health officials said in a statement.