Join CDC in Promoting National Minority Health Month: Give Your Community A Boost!
April 1, 2022
National Minority Health Month is observed every April to underscore the importance of improving health outcomes for racial and ethnic minority groups. As part of National Minority Health Month, we also highlight the importance of reducing health disparities, which are preventable differences in opportunities to achieve optimal health for people who are disadvantaged by their social or economic status, geographic location, or environment. This year’s theme, Give Your Community a Boost!, focuses on the continued importance of COVID-19 vaccination, including COVID-19 boosters, and sharing credible information as important tools to end the COVID-19 pandemic that has disproportionately affected communities of color.
The Role of Misinformation and Medical Mistrust in COVID-19 Booster Disparities
While about 58% of White, non-Hispanic people in the U.S. have received a COVID-19 booster as of March 2022, this is true for only about 40% of people from American Indian or Alaska Native, black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander communities. You can view the most current race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 vaccination, including boosters.
There are many conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, play, and worship that often disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minority groups that create challenges to vaccination access and acceptance. The rapid dissemination of new knowledge about the COVID-19 pandemic also led to misinformation (information that is false, inaccurate, or misleading) and vaccine hesitancy. Misinformation, along with mistrust of the healthcare system caused by historical inequities in medical treatment and discrimination, explains why some people from racial and ethnic minority groups have declined vaccination.
Booster + COVID-19 Safety Measures for Maximum Protection from COVID-19
Although COVID-19 vaccines remain effective in preventing severe infection, hospitalization, and death, studies show their effectiveness at preventing infection or severe illness wanes over time and changes for different variants. As a result, CDC recommends a COVID-19 vaccine booster for improved immune response and protection from COVID-19. CDC also recommends additional safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including wearing a well-fitting mask indoors when COVID-19 community levels are high, washing hands often, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and testing.
How Communities Can Work to Increase Vaccine and Booster Uptake
This April, CDC partners – including state and local health departments, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and community outreach groups – can play a role in helping our communities stay up to date with the COVID-19 vaccine and accessing trusted and reliable sources of information. Spread the word by visiting HHS’s National Minority Health Month website to access shareable social media messages, graphics, and information to help you promote the COVID-19 booster and share credible COVID-19 vaccine facts.
Various strategies can help communities increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and achieve equitable access to vaccines, but some may be particularly helpful for individuals with mistrust. A few tips include:
- Partner with trusted messengers, including healthcare professionals, to share clear and accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine and booster;
- Tailor strategies for your specific community by adapting key COVID-19 vaccine and booster messages to the language, tone, and format that will resonate with your community;
- Use tactics to address misinformation and hesitancy within your community. Talk to your community about COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, and encourage use of this checklist when you are unsure if COVID-19 vaccine information is accurate; and
- Build vaccine confidence by raising awareness about the benefits of COVID-19 boosters, and addressing common questions and concerns.
Four Steps to #Boost Your Community
To assure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination and credible information, we must work together. Do your part to encourage COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, and other COVID-19 safety measures, and share COVID-19 vaccine facts to counter dangerous misinformation. Spread the word by visiting HHS’s National Minority Health Month website to access shareable social media messages, graphics, and information to #Boost Your Community.
- Get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.Everyone should have access to trustworthy, culturally relevant vaccine information. CDC’s website answers frequently asked questions about the booster, including who can get a booster, when you are eligible, and how to schedule your booster. You can also learn more about common COVID-19 vaccine myths debunked. CDC provides COVID-19 vaccine information in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and other languages.
- Share accurate vaccine information. Cross-check COVID-19 vaccine and booster information with CDC.gov, your local health department, or your healthcare provider before sharing facts to help counter misinformation. Help your friends and family address their uncertainty with clear and understandable information and share your decision to get vaccinated. These are part of CDC’s Vaccinate with Confidence strategy which aims to reinforce community confidence in COVID-19 vaccines by increasing trust: among patients, parents, or providers about recommended vaccines; among providers who administer vaccines; and in the processes and policies that lead to vaccine development, licensure, manufacturing, and recommendations for use.
- Get vaccinated and stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccine. CDC recommends that everyone ages 5 years and older get their primary series of COVID-19 vaccine, and everyone ages 12 years and older also receive a booster shot. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for specific groups and who can get a booster shot. To find a free COVID-19 vaccine or booster near you, search vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233.
- Practice COVID-19 safety measures based on your COVID-19 community level and individual need. In addition to staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, the CDC recommends additional safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including wearing a well-fitted mask indoors when COVID-19 community levels are high, washing hands often, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and testing.
Advancing Health Equity to Address COVID-19 Disparities and Prevent Future Disparities
Disparities in COVID-19 vaccination and booster rates underscore the urgent need to address root causes of racial and ethnic health inequities which are a core element of our public health efforts. As a result of the longstanding inequities illuminated by the COVID-19 pandemic, CDC has developed a CORE strategy to make fair and just access to health and identifying and addressing the drivers of disparities a foundational element across our work – from science and research, to programs, partnerships, and workforce.
Learn more about health equity, factor’s affecting health equity, and CDC’s Office of Health Equity’s (OHE) commitment to health equity.
 Loomba, S., de Figueiredo, A., Piatek, S.J., et al. (2021). Measuring the impact of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on vaccination intent in the UK and USA. Nature Human Behavior, 5, 337–348. http://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-021-01056-1
 Institute of Medicine. 2003. Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. DOI: