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A Waypoint on the Path to Health Equity: COVID-19 Vaccination at Month 11
CommuniVax is a national coalition of social scientists, public health experts, and community advocates who seek lasting solutions to a serious problem. In the United States, historically underserved Black, Hispanic/Latino, and Indigenous populations have endured disproportionate impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. And, while these communities would benefit greatly from safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, they face longstanding biases and barriers that often limit their access to and acceptance of vaccination.
The CommuniVax Coalition is strengthening national and local COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the United States by putting communities of color at the center of those endeavors. The coalition is listening to Black, Hispanic/Latino, and Indigenous individuals on how best to promote awareness of, access to, and acceptability of COVID-19 vaccines in their respective communities and is developing longstanding, local governance systems that enable underserved groups to exercise collective agency over their own health and wellness, during this pandemic and going forward.
CommuniVax is led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and by the Department of Anthropology at Texas State University. The coalition includes 6 local research teams, a central working group of national experts, and a network of national stakeholders.
Funding for CommuniVax is provided by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, with additional support from The Rockefeller Foundation.
Local teams are composed of resident researchers, grassroots leaders, and public health implementers. They engage local communities of color to identify improvements needed to vaccine delivery and communication strategies in their communities.
The central working group includes experts in public health, public policy, medical science, anthropology, and public involvement. With input from diverse stakeholders, the working group coordinates local research processes and advocates for the implementation of findings nationwide.
National stakeholders include groups with political, technical, cultural, and social justice perspectives on vaccine delivery and uptake. These groups amplify information generated from local teams within their networks and provide feedback to the central working group.