Video Series: Promising Practices for Equitable Vaccine Distribution

This video series, from PHI’s Public Health Alliance of Southern California, showcases community-informed and equity-centered practices that reach disproportionately impacted low-income communities and communities of color.

Black man giving woman antibacterial hand sanitizer

Created by PHI’s Public Health Alliance of Southern California, this video series elevates promising and replicable practices for equitable vaccine distribution. The videos showcase real-life community-informed and equity-centered practices that reach disproportionately impacted low-income communities, and communities of color.

Reaching Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islanders in Vaccine Distribution (6/17/2021)

Recognizing the longstanding challenges that NHPI communities have faced, the Utah Pacific Islander Health Coalition (UPIHC), in partnership with several local health departments, like the Utah County Health Department, and the Utah State Health Department, mobilized early to begin hosting weekly vaccination clinics focused on increasing access to vaccinations for NHPI community members in a safe, trusting, and culturally affirming way. Many of the mobile vaccination clinic efforts aimed at reaching NHPI community members in Utah are coordinated partnerships through the UPIHC member network. The mobile vaccination clinics are tailored to create a space that is culturally grounded, and feels safe and comfortable for the NHPI community, which includes partnering with faith-based partners and hosting clinics in familiar locations. The partnership efforts between Utah’s local health departments (LHDs) and UPIHC has been a leading factor behind the distribution of 1,000’s of vaccines to the NHPI community throughout the State.

In this video, we are joined by Isabella Lesa, Community Health Worker with the Utah County Health Department and Jake Fitisemanu, Co-Founder and Board Member of the Utah Pacific Islander Coalition and Program Manager with the Utah State Department of Health, as they discuss the importance of disaggregated data and culturally grounded efforts in reaching NHPI community members in vaccine distribution.

View the full video series

Reaching Transgender Community Members in Vaccine Distribution (5/13/2021)

Vaccine center
The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has focused their mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic efforts on communities most disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In response to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on transgender, gender non-conforming (GNC) and gender nonbinary (GNB) residents, specifically residents of color, OCHCA co-led a mobile vaccination clinic event with their community partner, Alianza Translatinx. The event was designed to foster an inclusive space, free of discrimination or judgement to ensure transgender, GNC and GNB residents felt safe and comfortable receiving the vaccine. From registration, to vaccination, to observation, the partners took intentional steps to create an affirming and welcoming space. Thanks to in-person and online outreach efforts from partners like Alianza Translatinx, they were able to administer over 250 vaccines to community residents, the majority of whom were members of the Orange County transgender, GNC, and GNB community. OCHCA and their partners plan to build on the success of this event in order to reach more disproportionately impacted transgender residents throughout Orange County.

Improving Vaccination Accessibility for Individuals Living with Disabilities (4/16/2021)

Man wearing mask in wheelchairHealth leaders from The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s (LADPH) Center for Health Equity, in partnership with key community stakeholders with lived experience and organizations that serve communities with disabilities, have developed and are working to implement a set of core recommendations to improve access to COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals living with disabilities. The recommendations developed are a recognition of the urgent need to develop processes and systems to improve accessibility for communities with disabilities throughout Los Angeles County. While the recommendations address current COVID-19 vaccination efforts, these recommendations may be applied to COVID-19 testing and broader emergency response activities. In this video, we are joined by Heather Jue Northover, LADPH Center for Health Equity Director and Hector Ochoa, Director of Public Policy for the Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living, as they discuss the importance of centering individuals with lived experience in designing vaccine distribution solutions that truly work for all.

Read: Improving Vaccination Accessibility for Individuals Living with Disabilities

Health and Housing in St. Louis (3/29/2021)

two women behind desk at vaccination siteThe City of St. Louis Health Department partnered with the St. Louis Housing Authority to help register hard hit communities for COVID-19 vaccination. In St. Louis, data from a January 2021 survey revealed that of 17,000 individuals who registered their interest in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, less than 3,000 were from under-resourced and low-income neighborhoods such as North St. Louis.

Leaders like Dr. Fredrick Echols with the City of St. Louis Department of Health were proactive in outreach to communities most disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Partnering with Alana Green, Executive Director of the St. Louis Housing Authority, and staff from their Resident Initiatives Team, they called residents and assisted them in setting up vaccine appointments. Engaging the Housing Authority as a trusted partner and messenger for this community resulted in vaccinating over 300 seniors in just one clinic effort, roughly 98% of whom identified as Black/African American! An invite only follow-up vaccination clinic with Housing Authority residents resulted in a 96.3% return rate for the second dose of COVID vaccinations. The partnership between the Health Department and Housing Authority has yielded other promising benefits to housing authority residents, including food distribution, and distribution of personal protective equipment. This partnership serves as a promising model for intra-governmental partnerships to reach disproportionately impacted community members in vaccine distribution and administration.

Read: Intra-Governmental Partnerships to Reach City of St. Louis Housing Authority Residents

Protect Chicago Plus (3/18/2021)

Map of communities targeted by Protect Chicago Plus

In January 2021 Chicago City Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Protect Chicago Plus, a targeted COVID-19 vaccination distribution program designed with equity as the central strategy to ensure that vaccines are reaching communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Protect Chicago Plus is a unified effort between the City of Chicago, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), and local community partners with the goal of changing the map of disease burden and ending the pandemic. The City’s efforts have successfully increased the percent of 1st dose vaccines going to Black and Latinx Chicagoans from 18% in the first week of distribution to close to 59% in the most recent week of distribution (as of March 9, 2021); a percent equal to the City’s total Black and Latinx population. In light of their early successes, partners in Chicago remain steadfast in their commitment to lead with equity in vaccine distribution.

Read: Data-Driven, Neighborhood-Based Strategies to Reach Black and Latinx Chicagoans

Riverside Vaccinates Farmworkers (3/9/2021)

Farmworkers preparing for vaccinationRiverside County Public Health Department, in partnership with the Coachella Valley Equity Collaborative (spearheaded by the Desert Healthcare District & Foundation (DHCD) and community-based partners, like TODEC), launched mobile vaccination clinics that brought COVID-19 vaccines directly to farmworkers in the fields.

Community-based partners helped register farmworkers, who have been some of the most impacted community members due to COVID-19, at their worksites. They also worked to answer questions in preferred languages, including indigenous languages such as Purepecha. Partners in these efforts worked to address a broad range of concerns during vaccine registration and administration, including concerns related to vaccine side effects, immigration status and public charge. To date, the mobile vaccination clinics have successfully vaccinated well over 5,000 farmworkers throughout the Eastern Coachella Valley (and counting!). These successful efforts have also been elevated by the State as promising practices to replicate across California. This collaboration was made possible with funding support from the Public Health Institute’s Together Toward Health Initiative.

Read: Strategies for Prioritizing Farmworkers in Vaccine Distribution: Cross-Jurisdictional Learning Session Summary

Black and Well in the LBC (3/3/2021)

Black community, wearing masks, lining up for vaccineEarly on in the pandemic, the City of Long Beach Health Department was acutely aware of the disparate impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic was having on low-income communities and communities of color throughout the City, especially Black, Latinx, and Cambodian communities. Moreover, early COVID-19 vaccination data revealed that the hardest-hit communities were not getting vaccinated at the same rates as less impacted communities. In an effort to ensure more equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, the City has launched a series of partnerships with community-based organizations to host mobile vaccination clinics aimed at reaching Black, Latinx and Cambodian community members.

“Black and Well in the LBC” was a one-day mobile vaccination clinic held on Wednesday, February 10th, hosted in partnership with the City, the Long Beach Health Department, community-based non-profit Elite Skills Development and The Long Beach Minister’s Alliance. The vaccination event was held in Central Long Beach, a historically Black community, with a goal of reaching older Black Long Beach residents. The creation of this culturally affirming space, with trusted community partners in the lead, resulted in setting up vaccination appointments for 200 people, of which approximately 95% identified as Black or African American.

Read: Advancing Equity in the City of Long Beach: Reaching Older Black Adults Through Faith-Based Mobile Clinic Partnerships

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