The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated underlying inequities in the U.S. health care system, disproportionately affecting communities of color. Those inequities make it clear that the U.S. needs systemic investment in public and community health systems—focused on serving the most marginalized individuals and communities. In the latest white paper from the Vaccine Equity Cooperative (Partners In Health, NACHW, Health Leads and Social Current), we provide recommendations based on lessons learned from our shared experiences collaborating at the local, state, and federal level to respond to COVID-19 and address health disparities in the communities served.
The white paper focuses on four key pillars of health equity that reflect the challenges faced by implementers during the COVID-19 response: Access, Data, Power, and Resources. By ensuring those approaches include improved access to care, strong data systems, a shift in decision-making power, and access to resources, communities in the U.S. will be able to build a more equitable health care system.