COVID-19 Vaccination Prioritization Eligibility by Poverty Level and Race and Ethnicity
MEPS Research Findings 46
An AHRQ analysis of three hypothetical COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans showed that different prioritization schemes may lead to different trajectories of eligibility across population subgroups.
COVID-19 Vaccination Prioritization Scenarios and Their Effects on Eligibility by Poverty Level, Race, and Ethnicity, a report from AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey found that distributing the vaccine by age would simplify the process but slow vaccine eligibility across poverty levels and across race and ethnicity for key population subgroups. An alternative approach that granted relatively high priority to most essential workers and adults age 65 and older would result in quicker vaccine eligibility among adults in higher-income families and White adults than among adults living in poverty or racial and ethnic minorities.
In another scenario, prioritizing adults at increased risk of severe COVID-19 ahead of non-healthcare high-priority occupation groups would increase access to the vaccine among Black adults and adults living in poverty, but would delay eligibility of some workers who have increased risk of exposure and increased risk of transmission to others.