Build Confidence in Reaching Diverse Communities
The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the longstanding need to address barriers to health equity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines health equity as when all members of society enjoy a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Several factors affect health equity: discrimination, health care access and use, occupation, education, income and wealth gaps, and housing. For example, people in racial and ethnic minority groups often work in essential settings, and many members of these communities live in crowded living spaces. These factors can increase a person’s likelihood of being infected with COVID-19, making it pivotal that these communities feel vaccine confident.
- Ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines will be essential to mitigate the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic for underserved populations, prevent widening disparities in the future, and achieve broad population immunity.
- Patients should know that the COVID-19 vaccines were tested on tens of thousands of people—a more extensive and diverse group than usual for most clinical trials. In total, the Pfizer and Moderna trials enrolled more than 10,000 Hispanic patients and more than 6,000 Black patients.
- Building a foundation of trust and understanding is a critical first step in reaching diverse communities. In the Black community, for example, there is a longstanding distrust of medical care in the United States due to previous situations such as the Syphilis Study at Tuskegee. Many minoritized communities experience a lack of access to care today and may receive subpar care.
- Some of the COVID-19 vaccine researchers themselves represent diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Information for Pharmacy Teams
Watch APhA’s CPE webinar on Increasing Vaccine Confidence Among At-Risk or Diverse Populations
to hear an expert discuss racial and ethnic disparities in vaccine delivery, barriers to vaccination, risk factors for COVID-19 infection, aspects of vaccine hesitancy related to underserved populations, and approaches to building vaccine confidence.
Read the Pharmacy Today
article Listen to Your Patients’ ‘Why’
to learn from pharmacists from around the country who have relentlessly addressed concerns in their diverse communities.
Watch APhA’s short video on COVID-19 Vaccines and the Latinx Community
to hear a pharmacist share that her advice for building vaccine confidence is to talk with patients about how getting sick with COVID-19 could impact their ability to work and support their families.
Read pharmacist success stories about how to reach diverse communities effectively:
- Jeff Fortner, PharmD, partnered with organizations that provide services for Hispanic and Latino people: University Vaccine Clinics Build Bridge to Latino Community.
- Understanding hesitancy among African Americans and leveraging relationships with Black faith leaders to encourage vaccination were two ways that Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir, PharmD, touched her community: Pharmacy Professor Leverages Local Partnerships to Vaccinate Underserved People.
- Preeti Kotha, PharmD, deployed numerous strategies to reach diverse individuals: Academic Pharmacist Brings Vaccines Into the Comfort Zones of Underserved Communities.
- Focused on serving her area’s underserved, predominantly African American residents, Shadreka McIntosh, PharmD, leveraged trust: Trusted Pharmacist Vaccinates a Community’s Last Holdouts.
- Eva Vivian, PharmD, PhD, is committed to improving the health of African American community members: Pharmacist Leverages Trust to Improve Vaccine Confidence Among Black Community Members.
Information for Patients
Connect your patients to Vaccine Answers With a Personal Touch
for science-based answers to their COVID questions 24/7. This trusted AI guide will engage visitors in a one-on-one conversation about their concerns.