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Equity in Adult Vaccination

man wearing mask receiving vaccine & giving thumbs up sign

CDC launched a grant program, Partnering for Vaccine Equity, that provides upwards of $150 million in funding and support to national, state, local, and community-level partners. These partners focus on reducing the disparities in vaccination access and uptake experienced by racial and ethnic minority groups. This effort will continue the progress toward ending the threat of COVID-19 in the United States while also increasing general vaccine confidence, protecting more adults against infectious diseases, and achieving a healthier and more equitable future.

The program focuses on three main priority actions:

  • Supporting national and local community organizations through materials to increase access to vaccination opportunities;
  • Equipping trusted, influential messengers with culturally and linguistically appropriate content; and
  • Addressing disparities in vaccination at the community level, driven through partnerships at the national, state, and local levels.

To date, there have been 1,100 in-person events, 2,870 messengers trained, and almost 4,000 communication materials developed in nine different languages. These efforts have resulted in approximately 76,751 people getting vaccinated.

Learn more about the grant program Partnering for Vaccine Equity.

Food Worker COVID-19 Health Safety Toolkit Now Available in Four Languages

food worker covid-19 health safety toolkit

CDC Foundation created the Food Worker COVID-19 Health Safety Toolkit.external icon The toolkit specifically supports frontline food industry workers in the Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian/Pacific Islander populations who represent 49% of food industry workers and are at increased risk for COVID-19. The toolkit provides culturally relevant information that encourages vaccinations, emphasizes the importance of continuing to implement and follow workplace safety recommendations, and provides resources for mental health support.

The results from an environmental scan, stakeholder interviews, and in-field observations, suggest that these communities are less likely to have access to health care or insurance, may be unsure about vaccine cost or where to get it, and often prioritize work over personal health. Owners and managers are key messengers for this audience given their role in implementing COVID-19 safety protocols in the workplace, overseeing workforce vaccination uptake, and helping workers overcome work-related barriers, all while balancing customer and employee expectations and keeping businesses profitable.

Guided by these formative research insights, CDC Foundation developed a toolkit of five culturally relevant resources that were translated into Spanish, Vietnamese, and Simplified Chinese, and then tested with these populations for accuracy. The toolkit includes:

  • Five infographics for food industry workers with information about 1) vaccine safety and benefits; 2) vaccine cost and creating a vaccination plan; 3) how to assess and implement COVID-19 safety practices; 4) how to report a workplace concern to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; and 5) how to identify mental health symptoms and resources for support.
  • One infographic for managers with guidance for implementing workplace best practices, including a script to communicate mask policies with customers.
  • Social media stickers to be shared on social media platforms for promoting vaccinations.

CDC Foundation has mobilized established partnerships with eight organizations that serve and support frontline and essential worker safety (e.g., faith-based, health care, food industry, grocery, retail) to disseminate the toolkit. The toolkit is anticipated to reach almost 50,000 food industry businesses and 50 million food industry workers through partner websites, email listservs, social media (paid and organic Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn ads), and printed distribution.

The CDC Foundation, in partnership with the Aspen Institute Food & Society Program and Public Health Foundation Train Learning Network, will also adapt the toolkit into two online video-based trainings. The first training will build on the COVID-19 guidelines for restaurant, hotel, and institutional food industry workers, Safety First: Protecting Workers and Diners as Restaurants Reopen.external icon The second training will be for public health officials who offer local guidance for food industry workers and will be available through Train.org.external icon The online trainings are anticipated to reach 30 million food industry workers.

Let’s Take Charge! Campaign

woman hugging child

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (HHS OMH) joined forces with the Food and Drug Administration Office of Minority Health and Health Equity to launch the Let’s Take Charge! Campaignexternal icon, an initiative to make lupus research more inclusive and diverse. The intent of the campaign is to increase diversity in clinical trial participation which helps to ensure that future medical products are safe and effective for everyone living with lupus. The campaign will use radio and television ads, social media, and other communications platforms to promote awareness and diversity in lupus clinical trials among Black, Latino, Asian, and American Indian and Alaska Native people.

HHS OMH invites organizations and partners to share Let’s Take Charge! resources and materials and to encourage people living with lupus, especially those from racial and ethnic minorities and diverse communities, to consider participating in lupus clinical trials.

For more information, visit the Let’s Take Charge! campaign website.external icon

The Impact of COVID-19 on Hispanic/Latino People: What Can We Do Moving Forward?

drawn silhouettes of diverse women's faces

In October, we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. In the latest Office of Minority Health (OMH) Blog for Health Equity,external icon available in English and Spanish,external icon Alexander Vigo-Valentín, Ph.D., Public Health Advisor at OMH, calls on Hispanic/Latino people to commit to protecting their children and communities by getting vaccinated and following recommendations from CDC.

Public health agencies and community organizations are working together to create culturally and linguistically appropriate approaches to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in alignment with the Executive Order 13995, Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery,external icon signed on January 21, 2021. OMH has partnered with other federal offices and stakeholders to disseminate and amplify bilingual education messages about disease prevention and health promotion, the importance of learning how to manage stress, access to resources to support better mental health, and the latest CDC COVID-19 guidance.

Compared to the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, we now understand more about how people in racial and ethnic minority groups – and Hispanic/Latino communities in particular – have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data collected by CDC, African-American and Hispanic/Latino people were 2.8 times more likely to be hospitalized and three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than White people. Race and ethnicity are risk markers for other underlying conditions that affect health, including socioeconomic status, access to health care, and exposure to the virus related to occupation (e.g., frontline, essential, and critical infrastructure workers). HHS campaign, Juntos Sí Podemos,external icon provides multiple resources in both English and Spanish to educate people about effective ways to prevent and stop COVID-19 in Hispanic/Latino communities. In addition, Alianza Comunitaria Contra el COVID-19,external icon and the Community Engagement Alliance Against COVID-19 Disparities,external icon community members are reinforcing their role as key trusted allies.

Learn more about Hispanic Heritage Monthexternal icon by visiting, OMH’s website.

COVID-19 Associated Orphanhood and Caregiver Death in the United States

1 in 500 children has faced orphanhood or caregiver death due to COVID-19

More than 140,000 children in the United States experienced the death of a parent or grandparent caregiver from April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Overall, 1 out of 500 children in the United States has already faced COVID-19-associated orphanhood or death of the grandparent caregiver who provided their homes and basic needs. This number means that about one child from every public school in the nation (with their average size of 526 students) has experienced such a loss.

Children from racial and ethnic minority groups experience the greatest risk of COVID-19-associated orphanhood. The death of a child’s parent or caregiver increases their risk of short-term trauma and life-long adverse consequences. The highest burden of COVID-19-associated death of parents and caregivers occurred in southern border states for Hispanic children, southeastern states for Black children, and in states with tribal areas for American Indian/Alaska Native children. There is an urgent need for an evidence-based comprehensive response focused on those children at greatest risk, in the regions most affected.

For more information read the article, COVID-19-Associated Orphanhood and Caregiver Death in the United States.external icon

Youth E-Cigarette Use Remains Serious Public Health Concern Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

teen being offered and refusing a cigarette

Youth use of tobacco products—in any form, including electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) like e-cigarettes—is unsafe. Such products contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm the developing adolescent brain. Using nicotine in adolescence may also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.

A study released in September 2021, from CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimated that more than 2 million U.S. middle and high school students reported currently using e-cigarettes in 2021, with more than 8 in 10 of those youth using flavored e-cigarettes. The report, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, was based on data from the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey, a cross-sectional, self-administered survey of U.S. middle (grades 6–8) and high (grades 9–12) school students. The study assessed current (used on one or more of the past 30 days) e-cigarette use; frequency of use; and use by device type, flavors, and usual brand.

“This study shows that even during the COVID-19 pandemic, e-cigarette use among youth remains a serious public health concern,” said Karen Hacker, M.D., M.P.H., Director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “It’s critical we continue working together to protect young people from the risks associated with tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes. Our public health efforts include CDC’s National and State Tobacco Control Program, and resources for educators, parents, and providers to warn youth about tobacco products and help them quit.”

Join CDC on the ongoing efforts to address youth e-cigarette use.

Page last reviewed: October 27, 2021