Representative Angie Craig Introduces Legislation to Ensure Equitable COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Representative Angie Craig announced the introduction of legislation aimed to ensure that COVID-19 vaccinations are equitably allocated and distributed. The COVID-19 Vaccine Fairness Act would direct the Biden Administration to report on their efforts to effectively deliver and administer the vaccine to all communities. Craig’s legislation would also require the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to report vaccination rates by race, ethnicity and geography.
“Equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is critical to mitigating pre-existing health disparities and ensuring a rapid economic recovery in all of our communities,” said Representative Craig. “Under the Trump Administration, there was very little transparency into the vaccine distribution process, which left many communities frustrated and disappointed with what they perceived to be an unjust system that prioritized communities other than their own. My legislation seeks to address that failure, by supporting a strategy based on openness, fairness and accountability – which will lead to better health outcomes for all communities.”
Representative Craig originally introduced this legislation last fall, before any COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for use. Craig had hoped to work with the Trump Administration to develop a plan to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccinations to all communities, especially those in the hardest-hit areas of the country. Unfortunately, such a plan was never enacted. As a result, many states, including Minnesota, are not meeting their equitable distribution commitments, leaving disadvantaged communities at risk.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Fairness Act would direct the Department of Health and Human Services to provide weekly updates on the Administration’s efforts to ensure a transparent and equitable vaccine distribution process, including:
- The number of the vaccines distributed and administered, including vaccination reporting rates by race, ethnicity and geography
- Measures to ensure the vaccine reaches those groups particularly at risk for complications and transmission in accordance with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
- Any bottlenecks in the supply chain, including obstacles reaching state, local, territorial, and tribal health departments, high-risk facilities such as long-term care facilities, and tracking
- Progress reports on outreach to the public about vaccine availability, safety, benefits, and contraindications
- Efforts to update health care providers and facilities on their responsibilities regarding vaccine tracking and adverse event monitoring