Three pillars of a successful coronavirus vaccine program in minorities


Role of hospitalists

Hospitalists, who give immunizations as part of the hospital inpatient quality reporting program, are uniquely placed in this pandemic. Working on the front lines, we may encounter questions, concerns, rejections, and discussions about the pros and cons of the COVID-19 vaccine from patients.

Investigators at Children’s National Hospital and George Washington University, both in Washington, recently recommended three steps physicians and others can take now to ensure more people get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available. Engaging frontline health professionals was one of the suggested steps to encourage more people to get the vaccine.13 However, it is imperative to understand that vaccine hesitancy might be an issue for health care providers as well, if concerns for scientific standards and involvement of diverse populations are not addressed.

We are only starting to develop a safe and effective immunization program. We must bring more to unrepresented communities than just vaccine trials. Information, education, availability, and access to the vaccines will make for a successful COVID-19 immunization program.

Dr. Saigal is a hospitalist and clinical assistant professor of medicine in the division of hospital medicine at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus.


1. Moderna. COVE study. 2020 Oct 21.

2. U.S. Census Bureau. Quick facts: Population estimates, July 1, 2019.

3. Pew Research Center. U.S. Public Now Divided Over Whether To Get COVID-19 Vaccine. 2020 Sep 17.

4. Haralambieva IH et al. Associations between race sex and immune response variations to rubella vaccination in two independent cohorts. Vaccine. 2014;32:1946-53.

5. McQuillan GM et al. Seroprevalence of measles antibody in the U.S. population 1999-2004. J Infect Dis. 2007;196:1459–64. doi: 10.1086/522866.

6. Christy C et al. Effect of gender race and parental education on immunogenicity and reported reactogenicity of acellular and whole-cell pertussis vaccines. Pediatrics. 1995;96:584-7.

7. Poland GA et al. Measles antibody seroprevalence rates among immunized Inuit Innu and Caucasian subjects. Vaccine. 1999;17:1525-31.

8. Greenberg DP et al. Immunogenicity of Haemophilus influenzae type b tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine in young infants. The Kaiser-UCLA Vaccine Study Group. J Infect Dis. 1994;170:76-81.

9. Kurupati R et al. Race-related differences in antibody responses to the inactivated influenza vaccine are linked to distinct prevaccination gene expression profiles in blood. Oncotarget. 2016;7(39):62898-911.

10. Huang J et al. Characterization of the differential adverse event rates by race/ethnicity groups for HPV vaccine by integrating data from different sources. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:539.


12. Sanche S et al. High contagiousness and rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020;26(7).

13. American Medical Association. How to ready patients now so they’ll get a COVID-19 vaccine later. 2020 May 27.


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