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Health Agencies Update
April 27, 2021

Vaccination Priorities Delay Shots for Higher-Risk People of Color

JAMA. 2021;325(16):1601. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.5115

Prioritizing older people or older people and essential workers for COVID-19 vaccination, as many states have done, slows eligibility for adults in some racial and ethnic groups and for those with family incomes below the federal poverty level, according to a recent analysis by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) researchers.

Using data from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which does not include nursing home residents or incarcerated adults, the researchers examined how 3 different scenarios for prioritizing vaccines affected various groups’ eligibility based on age, health status, employment characteristics, poverty level, and race and ethnicity.