COVID-19: Federal efforts to make vaccines out there to racial and ethnic teams

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What did Gao discover?

In February 2021, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), the Well being Sources and Providers Administration (HRSA), and the Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA) launched COVID-19 vaccine applications to enhance every state and jurisdiction’s vaccination efforts . By way of these three applications, companies took steps to offer COVID-19 vaccines to underserved and traditionally marginalized racial and ethnic teams, reminiscent of using inhabitants information on race and ethnicity when deciding on vaccination websites. To make use of.

CDC, HRSA, and FEMA information—although restricted in completeness—counsel that the companies’ COVID-19 vaccine applications vaccinated various shares of racial and ethnic teams. GAO’s evaluation of information from the CDC’s Retail Pharmacy Program, the most important of the applications, revealed that, amongst individuals of an recognized race and ethnicity, 43 % of these vaccinated by this system had been of ethnicity aside from non-Hispanic White. and ethnic teams, as of September 4, 2021. (See determine.)

Share of individuals vaccinated towards COVID-19 by CDC’s Retail Pharmacy Program by race and ethnicity as of September 4, 2021

The CDC has exceeded its aim of administering racial and ethnic teams aside from non-Hispanic whites to not less than 40 % of the U.S. inhabitants—an estimated proportion of the U.S. inhabitants—by its retail pharmacy program. Nevertheless, a comparability between program vaccination information and US inhabitants percentages reveals that sure racial and ethnic teams, reminiscent of non-Hispanic black people, had been vaccinated by every of the three federal vaccine applications relative to their inhabitants dimension. signify a small fraction of people. For instance, non-Hispanic black people make up about 12 % of the U.S. inhabitants, however as of September 4, 2021, account for about 9 % of people vaccinated with the race and ethnicity recognized by the CDC’s retail pharmacy program. . These findings needs to be interpreted with warning as a result of fee of lacking race and ethnicity program information, which can account for some, and even all, of the variations in comparisons.

Why did Gao do that examine?

COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impression on public well being, with extreme financial repercussions, and has disproportionately affected sure racial and ethnic teams. Making certain that each one racial and ethnic teams have truthful entry to a COVID-19 vaccine is important to decreasing critical COVID-19 well being penalties and saving lives.

The CARES Act features a provision for GAOs to report on their ongoing inspection efforts associated to the COVID-19 pandemic. This report describes, amongst different issues, the actions CDC, HRSA and FEMA have taken by their applications to offer COVID-19 vaccines to underserved and traditionally marginalized racial and ethnic teams, and the way these The extent to which the applications have vaccinated numerous racial and ethnic teams. ,

GAO analyzed CDC, HRSA and FEMA vaccine administration information as of September 2021; Interviewed company officers and reviewed company documentation on COVID-19 vaccine applications and revealed literature on vaccine administration; interviewed well being officers from 4 chosen states and representatives of six chosen stakeholder teams primarily based on a number of standards, such because the racial and ethnic inhabitants distribution of the states; and in contrast the companies’ vaccine administration information to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau inhabitants rely.

The GAO supplied a draft of this report back to the CDC and the Division of Well being and Human Providers (HHS), together with HRSA and FEMA. HHS and FEMA supplied technical feedback, which had been included by the GAO as acceptable.

For extra info, contact Alyssa M. Hundrup at (202) 512-7114 or HundrupA@gao.gov.

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