A Guide for Community Partners: Increasing COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Among Members of Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities

In January 2021, the federal government funded 64 state, territorial, and local immunization programs for COVID-19 vaccination efforts and required 10% of funding to support groups at higher risk of COVID19 and under-resourced communities. As immunization programs continue to get funding to support COVID-19 vaccination uptake, the Guide for Community Partners can be used to support organizations with community-level reach—who play a critical role in increasing vaccine confidence and access in their communities—with delivering or supporting COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

Data consistently show health disparities among racial and ethnic minority groups relative to White populations, including most adult vaccination coverage. These disparities persist even when controlling for other demographic and socioeconomic factors Both historical and current experiences of racism and discrimination contribute to mistrust of the medical system among racial and ethnic minority groups.

This mistrust extends to vaccines, vaccination providers, and the institutions that make recommendations for the use of vaccines.1 This skepticism, and lack of access, also extends to the COVID-19 vaccines. State data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) show that COVID-19 vaccination rates for Black and Hispanic/Latinx populations are lower than their share of the population and their share of COVID-19 cases and deaths in some states.

The Guide for Community Partners focuses on racial and ethnic minority communities because of the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on these groups, but it is applicable to other communities that may be hard to reach, experience marginalization, discrimination, or disparities in receiving vaccines, or demonstrate hesitancy to get vaccines. This guide is complementary to other resources from CDC and partner organizations.

The Guide is organized into four sections with information on how community partners can:
1. Coordinate regarding available funding and resources
2. Understand and define needs in the community
3. Identify the strategies and interventions that could best address and support those needs
4. Implement and monitor vaccination efforts (including by collecting data by race and ethnicity) to improve confidence and access

Population: Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities

Links to resources:

  • Read the full guide, A Guide for Community Partners: Increasing COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Among Members of Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities from the Center for Disease Control
  • Access the Community-Based Organization COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit from the Center for Disease Control
  • Access the Coronavirus Response Toolkit from Ad Council
  • Learn more about the Center for Disease Control
  • Find your local health department
  • Read the guide, Rapid Community Assessment from the Center for Disease Control

Date: 2021