As the United States enters its seventh month of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, available data show distribution efforts have not produced equitable outcomes. Across states, black and Latino(a) people have received smaller shares of COVID-19 vaccines compared to their shares of the total population, despite experiencing disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. In recent months, eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine has broadened to include all adults and adolescents aged 12 years or older.
With open eligibility and adequate levels of vaccine supply, state leaders and their community partners have the opportunity to increase efforts to address inequities, using policy, data and financing levers to drive access and vaccine adoption among black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC). By understanding local lessons and engaging in meaningful community-based partnerships, state leaders can efficiently and precisely target state resources in a way that distributes doses equitably and builds a foundation to continue to address long-standing, systemic inequities in public health infrastructure.
In a new “Expert Perspectives” for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies program, developed in partnership with Health Equity Solutions and Families USA, Manatt Health describes how state leaders can use their political will, as well as administrative, policy, and funding levers to support community partners in improving access points, addressing structural barriers to vaccination, and establishing rapid data collection and evaluation efforts. The authors outline five key strategies state leaders can use to advance equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution solutions.
To access the full white paper, click here.