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The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine ; 94(3):509-515, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2072801


The COVID-19 pandemic has infected 33 million Americans and resulted in more than 600,000 deaths as of late Spring 2021. Black, Indigenous, and Latinx (BIL) people are disproportionately infected, hospitalized, and dying. Effective vaccines were rapidly developed and have been widely available in the United States since their initial rollout in late 2020-early 2021 but vaccination rates in BIL communities have remained low compared with non-BIL communities. Limited access to the vaccine, lack of customized information, and mistrust of the medical system, all contribute to vaccine hesitancy and low vaccination rates. Regrettably, COVID-19 is not the only vaccine-preventable illness with racial/ethnic inequities. Similar inequities are seen with the seasonal influenza vaccine. We review the racial/ethnic health disparities in COVID-19 illness and vaccination rates and what inequities contribute to these disparities. We use evidence from the seasonal influenza vaccination efforts to inform potential strategies to attenuate these inequities. The development of effective and sustainable strategies to improve vaccination rates and reduce factors that result in health inequities is essential in managing current and future pandemics and promoting improved health for all communities.

The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine ; 95(2):257-263, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2046356


While vaccine hesitancy is well documented in the literature among the Latinx community, little attention or effort is given to the nuances among the members of individual communities, such as country of origin, immigration status, generational status, primary language, race, age, sex, gender, or rural residence and how these complexities affect vaccine messaging and uptake. We have evidence that this heterogeneity causes differences in access to healthcare, attitudes towards vaccines, and degree of health disparities. In this review we will describe their impact on vaccination rates in the Latinx community, highlighting missed opportunities for public health outreach, and how targeted messaging could improve vaccine uptake.