DC Racial Equity Office Issues Vaccine Recommendations

Mar 3, 2021, 09:23 AM by MSDC Staff
The report examines why the number of Black and Hispanic residents vaccinated is so low and what can be done to address this.

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:

  1. Availability of vaccines
  2. The registration process
  3. Access to vaccine sites
  4. 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.