COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Statement
AARTH (African Americans Reach and Teach Health) Ministry was established in September 2002 to help address health disparities by providing social/behavioral health education and training capacity building services to faith, health and social service institutions that serve people of the African Diaspora. AARTH recognizes that in health care, not everyone has the same opportunities for success. History has taught us that due to systemic disenfranchisement, Black, Brown, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) experience multiple challenges in the pursuit of quality health care. The work that AARTH embarks on addresses these issues and the inequities that cause them. We seek to address inequities by working with a diverse community of funders, community partners, and health serving medical institutions to ensure equitable services for those for whom the system does not work due to institutional and structural racism.
The impact of COVID-19 capitalizes on historical and existing institutional and structural racism, and determinates of health for Black and African Americans as well as other people of color. According to Public Health Seattle King County’s Public Health Insider publication (i):
Prevalence of COVID-19 cases: the proportion of COVID-19 cases among Whites has decreased, while the proportion of cases among communities of color has increased. Communities of color have higher rates of COVID-19 compared to White residents; 4-5 times higher among Hispanics/Latinx residents and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, 2-3 times higher among Black and American Indian/Alaskan Native residents, and 23% higher among Asian American residents.
Structural racism: Black and African Americans, in particular have historically experienced structural racism ranging from housing policies to discrimination in health care that places them at a higher disadvantage when facing for COVID-19 and having access to adequate services.
Underlying health conditions: People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease and severe obesity are considered at higher risk for COVID-19. In the neighborhoods where many Black, Native and Indigenous people, and people of color live, there are less resources that contribute to positive health outcomes such as access to healthy and affordable foods. This leads to higher prevalence of chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and severe obesity that place them at increased risk for severe COVID-19, and these disparities increase with age.
Zip codes matter: While cases are found throughout the county, there are higher rates in south Seattle and south King County, and smaller concentrations in north King County and a pocket in northeast King County. The locations of higher rates of cases generally overlay with where there are larger concentrations of communities of color.
The impact of COVID-19 presented AARTH with another opportunity to address the inequities and disparities experienced over the past year. The COVID-19 vaccination clinic collaboration represents one of our major initiatives, allowing AAARTH and partners to administer the vaccine with the primary focus on serving BIPOC and a specific focus on Black and African American residents of Seattle/King County.
We join Public Health Seattle King County (PHSKC) and our community partners in the following strategy to provide services that are based on the principles of equity and social justice (ii).
Removing barriers that deter access.
Creating an inclusive process.
Being intentionally anti-racist and accountable to Black, Brown, and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
Pepper Pot Kinship Care Group
Our delivery priorities and methods are strategic and intentional. By working with our community partners, we:
Focus on Highest Risk and Most Impacted: The data clearly support the need for making BIOPOC a priority as those among the highest risk and most impacted.
Work with Community: Services in the community are most effective when done through partnerships and collaborations that include BIPOC. Develop a diverse collaboration of vaccine suppliers, faith partners, community organizations, volunteers, health institutions and funders with the same goals of offering vaccination services that are equitable and accessible for BIPOC.
Make Registration Easy: Establish a culturally informed community accessible registration system that include technical support to ensure appointments to accommodate both digital and phone assistance could be made in one attempt.
Make Vaccine Available in BIPOC Communities: Ensure appointment availability outside of regular business hours, including weekends and evenings. Work closely with community organizations to support pop-up clinics and to identify other points of delivery and providers that are known and trusted by community.
Support Language Access: Work through community partners to ensure access to language appropriate print materials and interpreters to provide digital and phone registration support.
Provide Vaccination Regardless of Immigration Status: Ensure that immigration status is not a barrier to receiving a vaccine.
Support Transportation Access: Work through community partners to engage clients with free and accessible transportation to community vaccine clinic locations.
As of April AARTH, and partners have conducted 22 vaccination clinics and as shown in the attached chart, and we have served 4615 individuals, reflective of the diversity of our communities in King County. Reference the AARTH COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Summary for demographic details (iii).
COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Collaboratives Partners: AARTH, New Beginnings Christian Fellowship Church, Fred Hutch, and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Central Area Senior Center, First AME Church, African American Health Board, Harborview Medical Center, Odessa Brown Clinic, Public Health Seattle King County/ Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group.
To learn more about the Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group: https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/community-faith-organizations/PARCAG.aspx
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We will NEVER ask you for your SSN when registering you for an appointment.
There is no charge for vaccines.
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