Resources for COVID-19 Vaccine Equity

Content From: Deron Burton MD, JD, MPH, Acting Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) and Captain, U.S. Public Health ServicePublished: April 20, 20212 min read

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April 16, 2021

Dear Colleague,

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the egregious and long-standing inequities that exist across the United States—inequities that have a profound effect on the physical, social, economic, and emotional health of racial and ethnic minority groups, LGBTQ+* persons, people who use drugs, people experiencing homelessness, people who are incarcerated or detained, people who do sex work, people with HIV and others. We have known these inequities exist, and we know that we must continue our work to implement programs and activities to create more equitable access to information and testing, treatment, and care services that will reduce barriers and ensure better health outcomes for all.

Today, we are getting closer every day to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. We have vaccines available that provide protection against disease. It is our responsibility to ensure equitable distribution and administration, especially for those most at risk for this disease and most affected by the barriers of lack of access and information, stigma, distrust, and fear.  

We need your help to reach these populations to ensure no one is left behind. CDC recently developed the following materials:

While these resources are intended to help us achieve equity in our vaccination goals, much of the content is applicable to our public health work to end the HIV epidemic.

Each of you is part of a critical network of local, faith-based, population-specific, or other organizations who are members of these communities. I encourage you to review these documents and adapt the tools, recommendations, and suggestions for your community.

As diverse, local, effective organizations, you have the capability to reach every person in the communities you serve. We are with you in this effort. Thank you for all you have done to protect people from COVID-19 over the last 15 months and your ongoing commitment to prevent and control the devastating toll of HIV.
Sincerely,

/Deron C. Burton/

Deron C. Burton, MD, JD, MPH (CAPT, USPHS)
Acting Director
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/nchhstp