The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on underserved health populations. That’s why we’re committed to equity in vaccine distribution: to help ensure all our patients and neighbors have access to the lifesaving immunizations they need.
“To reduce the substantial toll COVID-19 has had on individuals and communities, we need to work together to address inequities in the social determinants of health that increase risk of severe illness from COVID-19 for racial and ethnic minority groups.”
We know some patients may be hesitant about vaccines. We also know many people in communities of color have challenges trusting health care because of bias and racism experienced in life.
Today, we’re using multiple approaches to increase vaccinations among underserved groups:
- We’ve intentionally set up our vaccine locations in areas that serve a high number of diverse patients.
- Vaccine information resources are available in many different languages.
- We’re providing a mix of in-person and drive-up appointment options. Many of our vaccine locations are easily accessible by bus and light rail.
- Our doctors are reaching out through social and news media, as well as directly to patients, to answer questions and address concerns.
- To make vaccine scheduling easier, we’re contacting patients in several languages through emails, text messages, U.S. mail and phone calls. Patients who prefer to schedule over the phone can be seamlessly connected with a Hmong, Somali, Spanish or Vietnamese interpreter. Other language interpretation services are also available.
- We’re proactively identifying and reaching out to patients who may need additional assistance, helping to arrange for transportation, language services or other support (as needed).
- We hold appointments for patients who need additional assistance to help ensure they have access.
- KFF – Racial Diversity within COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials: Key Questions and Answers
- Minnesota Association for Geriatrics Inspired Clinicians – COVID-19 Vaccine Facts (on YouTube)
- Minnesota Department of Health – COVID-19 Community Coordinators
- Minnesota Public Radio – Doctor uses own doubts about vaccine to assure patients
- Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder – Black MN doctors on COVID-19 vaccine: “the benefits outweigh the risks”