The reasons for the U.S. gender gap are many, reflecting the role of women in specific occupations that received early vaccine priority, political and cultural differences and long standing patterns of women embracing preventive care more often generally than men. The gap exists even as Covid-19 deaths worldwide have been about 2.4 times higher for men than among women. And the division elucidates the reality of women’s disproportionate role in caring for others in American society. “It could matter to localized herd immunity,” said Alison Buttenheim, an associate professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and expert on vaccine hesitancy. “While most experts are fretting about larger gaps by race, political party, religion and occupational group,” she said, many of which overlap with the gender disparities, “I haven’t heard of any specific initiatives to target men.” In Los Angeles County, where 44 percent of women over 16 have gotten their first shot — compared with 30 percent of men — officials are scrambling to figure out how to do just that. “We are very concerned about it and are planning to embark on some targeted outreach among men,” said Dr. Paul Simon, the chief science officer at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, who said that the disparities are of particular concern for Black and Latino men. Only 19 percent of Black males in Los Angeles County and 17 percent of Latino males have received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared with 35 percent of Asian men and 32 percent of white men, according to the most recent data available from early this month.