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New Report: Equity in Vaccination: A Plan to Work with Communities of Color Toward COVID-19 Recovery and Beyond

February 9, 2021 - The Working Group on Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination, CommuniVax, led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Department of Anthropology at Texas State University released a new report on the actions that state and local officials should take to implement and support a vaccination campaign that works with Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities to remedy COVID-19 impacts, repair the social inequity magnifying health burdens, and propel lasting opportunities and benefits in these communities.

“As the COVID-19 vaccination campaign begins, it is critical that this resource is delivered fairly and equitably—so that everyone has the same level of access to this life-saving technology,” write the authors of the report, Equity in Vaccination: A Plan to Work with Communities of Color Toward COVID-19 Recovery and Beyond. “Just as pressing is the need to address the long-standing disparities that have created the unequal situation that BIPOC communities are now in.”

First convened in November 2020, the Working Group on Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination is co-chaired by Monica Schoch-Spana, PhD, from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and Emily K. Brunson, MPH, PhD, from the Department of Anthropology at Texas State University. It is comprised of a wide array of experts and advocates involved in the vaccine process, including community leaders, social scientists, public health experts, health care providers and vaccinologists. With funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the working group steers CommuniVax, a coalition of rapid research teams that are engaging BIPOC communities and public health implementers to improve local-level vaccine delivery and communication strategies.

The report’s action and accountability plan lists five key principles to implement collaboration:

  1. Iteration: Have repeated engagement with BIPOC communities.
  2. Involvement: Engage BIPOC community representatives and advocates as active collaborators in the public health process.
  3. Information: Communicate effectively with BIPOC community members.
  4. Investment: Leverage the vaccination process as an opportunity for economic revitalization in BIPOC communities.
  5. Integration: Given the long-lasting impacts the pandemic will have, envision the vaccination campaign as a step toward a more complete recovery that can, and should, include meaningful social change.

The authors acknowledge this is a broad approach but point to vaccination and COVID-19 recovery to start to create social equity, address disparities and generate enduring benefits for BIPOC communities.

Read the new report.

 

 

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