As the United States continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and new variants of the virus that are more transmissible and potentially more likely to result in severe illness or death, widespread vaccination against COVID-19 remains the strongest tool to fight the virus.
However, rates of COVID-19 vaccination vary widely, with Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) receiving smaller shares of COVID-19 vaccinations compared with their shares of the total population, despite experiencing disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. These disparities in vaccination rates among BIPOC as compared to white Americans highlight the long-standing inequities and structural racism that underpin the U.S. health care delivery system and that contributed to disparities in health outcomes before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognizing that early vaccine distribution efforts reached those most eager and able to access the vaccines, increasing vaccination take-up requires addressing the wide range of reasons why people have not received a COVID-19 vaccine.
In a new issue brief, prepared in partnership with Families USA and Health Equity Solutions, Manatt Health outlines the key barriers states face in their efforts to increase vaccination rates among BIPOC and highlights strategies states are pursuing in partnership with community-based organizations to address these challenges. The issue brief also considers future phases of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and planning, including near-term efforts to vaccinate children and adolescents, as well as longer-term opportunities to build sustainable infrastructure and capacity to advance health equity within state and local public health and health care delivery systems.
To read the executive summary, click here.
To read the full issue brief, click here.