Racial/ethnic minority communities are experiencing an undue burden from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and the availability of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized vaccines is critical for improving population health . National surveys assessing vaccination willingness and reports of vaccination administration by race/ethnicity indicate at least two areas that warrant attention: elevated vaccine hesitancy among African American and Latino adults, and the need to ensure equitable access to vaccination . COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is not uniform within racial/ethnic minority populations; yet, given the disproportionate impact, understandable distrust, and widespread misinformation, there is an imperative to overcome challenges associated with vaccination willingness and uptake, as well as implementation and access . This Perspective discusses the complexity of drivers for each of these areas, which include individual, community, and structural factors . It also highlights two initiatives at the National Institutes of Health . One is focused on addressing misinformation and distrust through academic-community partnerships, and the other on community-engaged behavioral interventions to address the population-specific reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, support informed decision-making, and promote equitable access among populations with health disparities . For the foreseeable future, proactive and persistent efforts around COVID-19 mitigation strategies, including vaccination, will remain of paramount importance for health equity.
Index: African Americans, COVID-19, Latinos, Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, Vaccine, racial and ethnic disparities, vaccine hesitancy