Recommendations to the Illinois Department of Public Health
December 16, 2020
Racism is the major driver of inequities embedded in our health system. As the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines are administered across the country, it is essential we ensure equitable access for those who need it most. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately harmed communities of color in Illinois, particularly Black and Latino/a/x communities, and widened health disparities. Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines is critical to ensure recovery and well-being for these populations.
At the same time, we know that our country’s history of structural racism and historical injustices in the healthcare system has caused Black Americans to distrust vaccines. We are also cognizant that asking for personal information from specific groups who are distrustful of the government (e.g., undocumented immigrants) could cause some people to be dissuaded from taking the vaccine.
This week, the Shriver Center on Poverty Law sent leadership at the Illinois Department of Public Health recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine distributions.
We urge the Illinois Department of Public Health to take action to:
These critical steps must be taken immediately to ensure the well-being of our most vulnerable and at-risk populations. The Shriver Center stands ready to help our communities and our government in any way we can.