Vaccine Distribution—Equity Left Behind?

March 2, 2021, Vol 325, No. 9, Pages 805-898


Vaccine Distribution—Equity Left Behind?
Muriel Jean-Jacques, MD, MAPP; Howard Bauchner, MD
free access has multimedia has audio
JAMA. 2021;325(9):829-830. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.1205
The health disparities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic have not been surprising in their direction. Likewise, the inequities that are likely to manifest when a limited supply of vaccine is rolled out to a large number of eligible individuals are predictable. As local communities roll out vaccine distribution to those aged 65 and older it is important to consider potential challenges and to proactively plan for ways to mitigate likely disparities.
[1] Prioritize vaccine distribution to zip codes that have been most severely affected by COVID-19 and that have high indexes of economic hardship.
[2] Partner with local health care institutions, community organizations, and other trusted sources to promote vaccine awareness and uptake within local communities, with particular attention to institutions and organizations that serve communities who have borne the brunt of COVID-19 exposure, illness, and death.
[3] Prioritize vaccine distribution to those who face mobility or other transportation barriers to receipt of the vaccine (eg, vans to deliver vaccine to homebound older persons, vaccination sites that are near public transportation, and hours of operation that are accessible to those who work or who rely on those who work during standard business hours).
[4] Simplify registration procedures. Ensure registration options that do not require the internet or digital platforms (such as phone or in-person registration). Ensure registration is accessible to those with limited English proficiency or limited literacy. Registration should not require nonessential documentation, such as proof of citizenship, that is likely to deter individuals from immigrant communities from seeking vaccination. Offer vaccination options that do not require preregistration (eg, at local community centers, schools, houses of worship, or other highly frequented and trusted sites in the community)…
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Conversations with Dr Bauchner: Coronavirus Vaccine Update From the CDC With Nancy E. Messonnier, MD