Ensuring Equitable Access To COVID-19 Vaccines In The US: Current System Challenges And Opportunities

Health Affairs
Vol. 40, No. 1 January 2021
https://www.healthaffairs.org/toc/hlthaff/current

 

Analysis COVID-19
Ensuring Equitable Access To COVID-19 Vaccines In The US: Current System Challenges And Opportunities
Angela K. Shen, Richard Hughes IV, Erica DeWald, Sara Rosenbaum, Amy Pisani, and Walt Orenstein
Free Access
Abstract
There has been a worldwide effort to accelerate the development of safe and effective vaccines for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2. When vaccines become licensed and available broadly to the public, the final hurdle is equitable distribution and access for all who are recommended for vaccination. Frameworks and existing systems for allocation, distribution, vaccination, and monitoring for safety and effectiveness are assets of the current immunization delivery system that should be leveraged to ensure the equitable distribution and broad uptake of licensed vaccines. The system should be strengthened to address gaps in access to immunization services and to modernize the public health infrastructure. We offer five recommendations as guideposts to ensure that policies and practices at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels support equity, transparency, accountability, availability, and access to coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines.