DC Racial Equity Office Issues Vaccine Recommendations
The District's new Council Office of Racial Equity (CORE) issued a report this week recommending how the District's COVID vaccine distribution process could be more equitable.
Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie requested the report from CORE after media reports that Black residents were lagging in vaccination rates. As of February 20, only 19% of residents who had received at least one vaccine dose were Black. A quarter of doses given to residents 65 years or older were for Ward 3 residents, and only 5% were to Ward 8 residents.
The report outlines four areas causing vaccine inequality:
- Availability of vaccines
- The registration process
- Access to vaccine sites
- Policy barriers (specifically the inability of independent pharmacies to vaccinate)
To address some of these issues, the report highlights initiatives in other states that the District should consider adopting, including:
- Create specific resources addressing historic abuse of minority communities in medicine to encourage vaccine confidence
- Empowering independent pharmacists to vaccinate populations
- Partner with pharmacies to distribute leftover vaccines
- Utilize the Medical Reserve Corp to mass vaccinate in underserved areas
- Utilize a warehouse storage process to shorten the distance to distribute vaccine doses
You can read the entire report here.