The U.S. has now opened, Covid-19 vaccination to all eligible adults. But will availability ensure everyone will have access to get the shot?
Already, CDC data shows that ⅔ of those who have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine are White -- a rate significantly disproportionate to Blacks and Hispanics who are more likely to be hospitalized or die from Covid.
“The idea of equity is you give everybody what they need in order to be successful. And in America today, the color of your skin, how much income you have, those are two critical factors in terms of whether you get what you need to be successful,” Dr. Richard Besser, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and former acting director for the CDC told Track the Vax on this week’s episode.
That at the start of the vaccine distribution efforts, officials “did not with intentionality target the communities that had been hit the hardest by making vaccines most readily available there,” he explained. “A lot of efforts early on were these big clinics, these drive-through clinics. You know, clinics that were not working 24/7; you want vaccines to be as available and as close to people as possible.”
But equitable distribution isn’t just about ensuring success state-side. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll estimates “ that across the U.S. as a whole we will likely reach a tipping point on vaccine enthusiasm in the next 2 to 4 weeks.” And currently, the U.S. has purchased enough shots to vaccine its population three-times over.
In this episode of Track the Vax you’ll also learn:
- Why data is “absolutely critical” in ensuring equitable distribution
- How to ensure the J&J one-and-done vaccine pause doesn’t negatively impact vulnerable communities
- What equitable distribution looks like on a global scale.