A group of more than 100 civil rights organizations have endorsed a letter calling for vaccines to be distributed equitably.
The organizations believe the vaccine should be easily available for individuals living in all types of institutional and congregate settings. That includes prisons, nursing homes, immigration detention facilities, domestic violence centers, and other settings.
Information on the vaccine must also be provided in a wide array of languages and screen reader accessible formats and other alternative formats needed by people with disabilities.
“As companies and healthcare entities widely distribute COVID-19 vaccines, the health and well being of frontline and essential workers, Black, Latino, Native American, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities, older adults, immigrants, people with limited English proficiency, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ individuals—the communities most affected by the virus—must be prioritized,” the letter states.
The groups also called for assisting communities who do not have the financial ability to support efforts around acquiring and delivering the vaccine. Efforts to modernize state and local immunization infrastructure including hiring and training medical staff is paramount to the vaccine being used correctly.
The letter also wants clinical trials that include the representation of diverse communities in order to ensure trust.
Three coronavirus vaccines are available in the U.S. However, they’re still not available to all citizens. Most states have opened the vaccines to frontline and essential workers, those with disabilities, and the elderly.
The letter was signed by African American Ministers In Action, AIDS United, American Atheists, Center for Disability Rights, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Equal Rights Advocates, Fairway Health, Futures Without Violence, the Hindu American Foundation, the Human Rights Campaign, Justice For Migrant Women, League of Women Voters, the League of Untied Latin American Citizens, the NAACP and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and bevy other groups.
The coronavirus has infected more than 29 million Americans and killed 522,000 citizens.
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