Podcast — Navigating COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
With Christian Barnett, SVP of Strategy, and Ryan Colaianni, SVP of Crisis Communications
Resources from today's episode
Vaccine distribution challenges
- With limited supply and visibility into future supply, health systems across the nation sit between a rock and a hard place when working to meet public demand.
- Widespread challenges include undefined priority groups, lack of protocol buy-in across the organization, and demands on health systems to "play cop" when adhering to vaccine protocol.
- Health systems are attempting to address these challenges by utilizing EMR databases and requiring PCP visits before vaccination, but these methods can exclude some populations.
Communications strategies to manage vaccine uncertainty
- Be transparent about your current supply, visibility into future supply, the number of administered vaccinations, uncertain waiting times, and your plan to educate the public readily available.
- Address how you plan to ensure equity in distribution. For instance, some health systems are partnering with community centers and faith-based organizations.
- Health systems should adhere to "high-risk groups" defined by the CDC to avoid further fragmentation in vaccine communications.
The vaccine's impact on health equity
- Reports show African American populations are less likely to get vaccinated, and recent survey findings indicate that the problem isn't just access – it's identity.
- Industry leaders (predominantly white, male, middle-to-upper-class) took the vaccine to demonstrate faith in its effectiveness. The lack of diversity in these efforts creates an "us and them" dynamic, alienating populations who don't fall under the white, wealthy male umbrella.
- Health systems can address this gap by demonstrating successful vaccinations across different cultures and demographics.
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