WSHA is committed to supporting Washington hospitals in ensuring equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Communities of color and low-income communities have been particularly and cruelly impacted by the virus.
It is a health equity imperative that members of these communities, as well as people with disabilities, have easy and early access to vaccine, in accordance with the distribution phases outlined by Washington State government. WSHA has authored a guide and compiled resources for hospitals to utilize in vaccine planning:
- The Strategies for Equity in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution guide includes concrete strategies and actions hospitals and other vaccine providers can take to ensure high-impact communities receive vaccine. There has been some concern about what actions are allowable; we are pleased to say our guide has been reviewed and contributed to by DOH.
- The Coronavirus Vaccine Equity Dashboard visualizes ZIP code and Census Tract data by income, race, ethnicity and disability to assist providers in reaching vulnerable communities. Providers can use it to identify high-impact communities and, for example, offer vaccine clinics to residents of only certain ZIP codes.
- Our strategies document includes many other resources, including data on free and reduced-price lunch eligibility by local schools, planning tools, translated materials and accessibility recommendations.
It is essential that Washington vaccine providers proactively engage with communities of color, low-income communities and people with disabilities to ensure these high-impact communities are prioritized in vaccine distribution. We are really excited to provide you these new tools and hope you will use them as we move towards getting Washingtonians vaccinated.