Black and Latino Americans have been killed by the coronavirus at more than twice the rate of white residents. Now, states are pledging to make sure the hardest-hit minority groups have equal—or, in some cases, prioritized—access to the vaccine.
But as the first doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being administered across the country, states are still wrestling with how and when the vaccine will be made available to those hard-hit communities.
Some states say they are focused on outreach, in the hopes of making sure that people of color aren’t left behind as the vaccine is distributed more widely.
North Carolina has hired an advertising firm to conduct outreach to Black and Latino communities. New York has convened a task force made up of clergy, health officials and civil-rights advocates to help the process by, for instance, ensuring that materials needed for an effective rollout—like cleaning supplies and syringes—get to low-income areas.
Other states are going a step further, saying the groups hit hardest by the virus should have earlier access to the vaccine.