Study underscores need for technology and supply chain modernization solutions to ensure vaccine and other resources are available to minority and rural communities
Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC) has partnered with Yale School of Nursing to fund research and provide recommendations to improve access to resources such as vaccines during a national response to a crisis.
“The findings and recommendations from this study will help inform local, state and federal decision makers on the barriers that still exist in rural and disadvantaged communities in the midst of a national response and how best to address these barriers,” stated Bob Genter, president, Defense and Civilian Sector at SAIC. “At SAIC, we believe the solution will also require technology and supply chain modernization to give agencies real time data from all points along the supply chain. Modernizing the vaccine supply chain is not about the newest technology, but about using the right technology to ensure that we distribute vaccines more effectively and more equitably in the areas that are most impacted.”
Commissioned by SAIC in February 2021 and completed in December 2021, the study focused on Black, Hispanic and immigrant communities during COVID-19. For Black communities the strategies identified to encourage vaccine usage largely converged into three categories: a) addressing mistrust, b) combatting misinformation and c) improving access to COVID-19 vaccines. In Hispanic communities, successful intervention occurs through the mobilization of local community leaders and improving access to information in one’s native language. For immigrant populations, the response must address general concern about threats to their residency status that could be triggered by engaging with healthcare systems.
“Our research explored the lack of vaccine equity in communities that were not only skeptical about the vaccine, but often lacked access to it,” stated Dr. LaRon Nelson, associate dean for Global Affairs & Planetary Health at Yale School of Nursing. “As we look ahead to the next wave of COVID and future pandemics, we have identified integrated strategies that can promote greater racial equity in vaccination. Companies such as SAIC can also bring their expertise to the table to address solutions.”
The study recommends several strategies for success in future pandemic or national response. For example, trusted members of underserved communities should deliver national emergency information in multiple languages; those responsible for outreach should leverage social media, radio and other means to disseminate information and counter misinformation; registration requirements should be simple; and a broad mix of points of vaccine distribution locations and service times should be available to alleviate conflict with work hours.
Learn more about the study here.
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