Children’s Campaign joins the Colorado Vaccine Equity Taskforce to advance equitable access to vaccines amid COVID-19
Since August, the Children’s Campaign has been participating in the work of the Colorado Vaccine Equity Taskforce, established and convened by Immunize Colorado. The aim of the Taskforce is to bring together experts and stakeholders in health equity to promote vaccine uptake and equitable access among all Coloradans, with special attention to our communities of color. Vaccine equity is as important as ever, given the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on Coloradans of color and the recent rollouts of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
I have been representing the Children’s Campaign on the Taskforce and in various workgroups where we work toward the following:
- Combating vaccine misinformation that has been targeted toward communities of color
- Promoting trust among communities of color and the medical field while, at the same time, acknowledging significant historical and ongoing discriminatory and biased practices in medicine
- Serving as an informed voice to build public will in communities of color in order to achieve vaccine equity in Colorado
- Generating and prioritizing strategies for the equitable delivery of vaccines, education, and communications at the state, provider and community levels, while holding decision-makers accountable for implementing these strategies
- Serving as a sounding board for research and implementation efforts to reduce the barriers which contribute to immunization disparities among communities of color in our state
The Taskforce is made up of over 30 members who are patients, parents, survivors and advocates; medical and public health professionals; infectious disease and vaccine utilization researchers; policymakers; faith leaders; communications professionals; business and civic leaders; and individuals who represent community-based organizations and health equity advocacy groups. We are also people of color who have seen the real pain of the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 play out in our families and communities.
The Children’s Campaign joins the work of the Taskforce for several reasons. We believe that kids and pregnant women are populations that deserve intentional and special consideration in COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning. This is crucial, especially given the lack of vaccine efficacy data for these groups and the role COVID-19 vaccines play in reopening schools for in-person learning. We also consistently prioritize racial equity in our work because children and families of color face increased barriers to optimal health in our state due to discriminatory policies and practices.