Feb 10, 2021 - Health

How to get COVID-19 vaccines to communities of color

Illustration of a group of doctors examining a giant syringe
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The COVID vaccine campaign can be an opportunity to address long standing disparities in the health care provided to people of color, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security said Tuesday in a proposal for how to distribute the vaccines equitably.

Why it matters: People of color have been hit especially hard not just by the pandemic, but also by the disruptions caused by it.

The keys to equitable distribution of the vaccines, per the center:

  • Engaging repeatedly with Black, indigenous, and people of color communities through "listen-and-plan" sessions.
  • Making sure representatives of the communities are active collaborators in the vaccination campaigns.
  • Tailoring the vaccine messages to address the specific concerns of the communities.
  • Providing enough funding and other resources to ensure that the vaccines are distributed successfully, and then fighting to keep those resources after the vaccination campaigns are over.
  • Making sure the campaigns are treated as an opportunity for "meaningful social change," not as a final step that brings everything back to normal.
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