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Law 360: States Must Factor Race In COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization

Since the early months of the pandemic, health care organizations such as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, or NASEM, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the World Health Organization Strategic Advisory Group of Experts, or WHO SAGE, worked to avoid vaccine inequities by studying ways that vaccines could be allocated to prioritize the people who are more likely to be severely affected by COVID-19. Based on Harald Schmidt’s research, the NASEM recommended phases of vaccine prioritization based on age, occupation, and comorbidities and that vaccine access within each phase be “prioritized for geographic areas identified as vulnerable through [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s] Social Vulnerability Index (SVI).”