At Councilmember McDuffie’s Behest, Council Office of Racial Equity Releases Vaccine Framework

New report proposes changes to ensure residents with the greatest risk get the vaccine

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Contact: Jonathan McNair, 202-288-0714, jmcnair@dccouncil.us

Washington, DC – Today, the Council Office of Racial Equity (CORE) released a framework to ensure a
more equitable vaccine distribution program. Councilmember McDuffie requested this framework to address
the disproportionate impacts this pandemic has had on communities of color and low vaccine rates among
Black Washingtonians.

“Every aspect of our public health and economic response to this pandemic must be done through the lens
of racial equity,”
said Councilmember McDuffie. “Black communities have been the hardest-hit by this
virus but are getting vaccinated at the lowest rate. This new framework provides useful suggestions to help
guide our actions.”

The report makes clear that there are real barriers for Black and Brown residents to get the vaccine such as
limited shot supply, a tedious appointment registration process, access to vaccination sites, and exclusion of
independent pharmacies from administering shots. Moving forward, CORE calls for a collaborative approach
that involves both the executive and legislative branches, amplifies the voices of community stakeholders,
and involves the District’s most marginalized communities.

CORE’s announcement is the latest in a string of efforts by Councilmember McDuffie and his team to ensure
a more equitable vaccine process. On Thursday, Councilmember McDuffie joined local faith leaders to
announce a new partnership between the New Samaritan Baptist Church and Five Medicine to vaccinate
residents in Wards 5,7, and 8. Councilmember McDuffie also raised the issue of vaccine appointment access
when the rollout first started and worked with DC Health to create the high-priority zip code appointments
that residents use every week.

A full copy of CORE’s report can be found here.