A recent Washington Post article discussed the complicated considerations by public health agencies to develop equitable processes for COVID-19 vaccine distribution that take into account who is most at risk, made more challenging by the limited supply of vaccines.
The article cited the CDC social vulnerability index, which was recommended by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine for use in vaccine allocation as it considers factors “most linked to the disproportionate impact of covid-19 on people of color.”
Some areas have committed to using the CDC social vulnerability index, taking a certain portion of vaccines and rushing them to areas hardest hit by Covid-19. Some states, such as California, are developing their own “equity metric” to determine allocation. The article states that there has been only minimal federal guidance.
The Center for Medicare Advocacy has been closely tracking the catastrophic impacts of COVID-19 infection and severity of infection among communities of color. The Center has also been involved in efforts to ensure equitable access to life-saving medical treatment for all patients. Now, as COVID-19 vaccines become available in only a limited supply in the United States, the Center will continue to monitor vaccine allocation in the coming months.