National surveys have reported rates of vaccine reluctance ranging from 25% to 50% among Black, Indigenous and other people of color, who have experienced a high burden of COVID-19 disease and related mortality. Increasing confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and uptake in these communities requires a creative, flexible and nimble approach that addresses the diverse concerns and barriers to vaccine access that people may have, according to a new article in Open Forum Infectious Diseases.
Significantly lower uptake of vaccines in these communities compared with their share of the population affected by COVID-19 is the latest example of health inequities suffered by people from these groups during the pandemic. The article explores the impact of these inequities — and their underlying cause, structural racism — on vaccine acceptance and offers ways to address and inspire confidence. Authored by members of IDSA’s Inclusion, Diversity, Access and Equity Task Force and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists’ Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the article also addresses several related key issues:
“As we consider vaccines as a vehicle for ending this pandemic, our only successful move forward ensures that the communities most impacted are protected,” the authors note in the article. “Vaccine confidence can be strengthened if we begin with respect and transparency, and if our approaches to vaccine allocation, distribution, and messaging start and end with an equitable lens.”
The OFID article, “Addressing and Inspiring Vaccine Confidence in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” is available online now.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is a community of more than 12,000 physicians, scientists and public health experts who specialize in infectious diseases. Its purpose is to improve the health of individuals, communities and society by promoting excellence in patient care, education, research, public health and prevention relating to infectious diseases. Learn more at https://www.idsociety.org/.
The Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) is an association of 1,500 pharmacists and allied healthcare professionals in hospital, academic, industry, governmental organizations, and other practice settings dedicated to promoting the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents. The mission of SIDP is to advance infectious diseases pharmacy and lead antimicrobial stewardship in order to optimize the care of patients.
Open Forum Infectious Diseases (OFID) publishes clinical, translational and basic research in a fully open access, online journal. It focuses on the intersection of biomedical science and clinical practice, with an emphasis on knowledge that could improve patient care globally. Open Forum Infectious Diseases is an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Learn more at https://academic.oup.com/ofid.
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