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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.

Go deeper

Feb 9, 2021 - Health

J&J CEO: Annual COVID-19 vaccine shots may be necessary for a few years

Alex Gorsky. Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty Images

People might need the coronavirus vaccine annually in years to come, much like the seasonal flu shot, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC on Tuesday.

What he's saying: "Unfortunately, as [the virus] spreads it can also mutate," Gorsky said at an event. "Every time it mutates, it’s almost like another click of the dial so to speak where we can see another variant, another mutation that can have an impact on its ability to fend of antibodies or to have a different kind of response not only to a therapeutic but also to a vaccine."

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Feb 9, 2021 - Podcasts

Teachers union president walks back vaccination requirement

Randi Weingarten, president of America's second-largest teachers union, told the Axios Re:Cap podcast that she "was wrong" to say in September she'd support requiring in-school teachers to take a COVID-19 vaccine once readily available.

What she's saying: Weingarten now says that while she thinks teachers should take the vaccine she believes too many people have been scared off by misinformation.

Feb 10, 2021 - Health

FDA grants emergency use authorization for Eli Lilly COVID antibody drug

Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The FDA announced Tuesday it has issued an emergency use authorization for a new combination antibody drug from Eli Lilly that can treat mild to moderate COVID-19.

Why it matters: The treatment contains bamlanivimab and etesevimab which, administered together, can reduce the risk of hospitalizations and death by 70%, per an FDA statement. It can be used on patients at high risk of developing severe illnesses.