Plenty of organizations have stepped up to combat the issue of the disparity of vaccination distribution. For instance, The Annenberg Foundation, based in California, has taken the initiative to provide equitable access to vaccines. They will be hosting pop-up vaccine clinics all throughout Los Angeles to give more people the opportunity to get vaccinated.
Currently, not all states are releasing demographic data on the people getting vaccinated. That means we aren’t really tracking to see if those in vulnerable communities are getting the care they need — per usual. So, the urgency to have underserved populations, such as the Asian, Black, and Latinx, receive their vaccination is paramount.
This upcoming week, The Annenberg Foundation and Wallis Annenberg GenSpace partnered with the Karsh Family Social Service Center and the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation in an effort to vaccinate older adults of the highly diverse area, Koreatown.
Though many people have gotten vaccinated already, there is not much data letting the United States know if marginalized communities are receiving their vaccines as quickly as other communities. In fact, the KFF has already reported gaps in vaccination coverage in the Asian, Black, and Latinx community.
It’s been a few weeks since the much-awaited-for Covid-19 vaccine has been in circulation in the United States. In a perfect world, the distribution of the vaccine would be flowing smoothly, and health data would be used to promote vaccination equity. But a perfect world is as real as calorie-free pastelitos. Instead, the disparities that have always been present in public health data are seeping into the covid-19 vaccines, which is concerning many doctors.
“Communities should be able to generate daily and certainly weekly data to understand the demographics of who is being vaccinated. Local health departments and health institutions need to respond to these data in real-time to identify where COVID-19 vaccine uptake is not matching the COVID-19 disease burden. If disparities emerge, then additional targeted approaches to vaccine outreach, education, and administration, for example, house to house contact, may be necessary,” Dr. Muriel Jean-Jacques and Dr. Howard C. Bauchner wrote in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Thankfully, many have continued to push for equity in vaccinations (and in healthcare, overall). Hopefully, these pleas are heard, especially since President Biden had previously promised to ensure disadvantaged communities had better access to testing and vaccination with his COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.