As public health officials across the country struggle to get vaccination shots to the people hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, a Senate bill aims to address health inequities among communities disproportionately affected by the virus (Source: “Senate bill aims to reduce health disparities related to Covid-19,” NBC News, Feb. 25).
The COVID-19 Health Disparities Action Act, introduced Thursday by Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., would support targeted and "culturally competent" public awareness campaigns about vaccines and preventive measures in underserved communities, such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance.
The bill would direct the Department of Health and Human Services, acting through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to develop public awareness campaigns to address disparities in testing, hospitalizations and deaths among racial and ethnic minority groups. It would also instruct the health department to create grant programs for community-based public awareness campaigns about vaccinations, testing and preventative measures.