Safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines are now potentially within reach. Yet, because of production bottlenecks and other constraints, for months, supply will not meet demand. Rationing will be inevitable. A major theme in emerging policy guidance is that vaccines should be allocated in ways that reduce inequities. More concretely, vaccine allocation needs to respond directly to the fact that disadvantaged groups—and especially racial and ethnic minorities—have been hit much harder by Covid-19 in terms of unemployment, illness, and deaths compared to the more privileged white majority. How can federal and state policy makers ensure vaccine allocation reduces inequities and contributes to social justice as they scramble to prepare for allocation efforts that are unprecedented in their logistical complexity?
To advance debate and planning, policy makers, public health workers, community leaders, activists, researchers, reporters, and the general public are invited to hear from leading experts about concrete steps that can be taken to dramatically improve the chances of equitable vaccine allocation. Of particular focus is ensuring that vulnerable groups that have often experienced—and experience—structural racism and other forms of systemic injustice are central to this effort.
The co-hosts Ariadne Labs, Boston College, the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, the International Society for Priorities in Health, MIT, O’Neil Institute/Georgetown, The University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, invite you to a 4-part symposium and seminar series on two days.