ISC is working with communities to ensure the equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine Hesitancy is a significant factor contributing to low uptake in COVID-19 vaccinations and ISC aims to ensure that everyone can get vaccinated.
Vaccine Hesitancy is a behavior “Influenced by a lack of trust in the medical community, concerns about vaccine safety, efficacy, necessity or convenience and other issues related to vaccination” (Nabet, Gable, Eder, & Feemster, 2017).
These concerns are widely shared within Black and Latinx communities, and their problems are historical in nature. The impacts of past medical experience and overall treatment of Black and Latinx communities have led to the vaccine hesitancy seen today.
ISC is working to ensure that Black and Latinx communities are provided with the information they need to understand the importance of vaccinating against COVID-19.
Our efforts include vaccine education, equitable distribution, vaccination events targeting specific communities, and partnerships with organizations that promote equitable healthcare access. However, we cannot do it alone.
Healthcare workers will be important partners in this effort. Doctors, primary care physicians, nurses, and others in the healthcare industry are trusted advisors to patients. Healthcare professionals play a pivotal role in ensuring the equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and combating vaccine hesitancy.
Healthcare providers should:
- Address patients concerns about vaccines, answering questions and countering misinformation
- Explain mRNA vaccines and how vaccines are developed
- Underscore how the vaccine may impact the patient, addressing concerns about known side effects
- Clarify who should and should not take the vaccine
- Explain, as much as possible, Emergency Use Authorization
Local agencies and organizations also play a major role in promoting vaccines. Localities can host vaccine events and promote vaccination within targeted areas to ensure vaccine uptake in communities with the lowest vaccination rates.
To get back to “normal,” we all need to ensure that everyone has access to the COVID-19 vaccine. ISC is working to make this a reality and will continue to work diligently for healthcare distribution and ensuring access to the vaccine within all communities.