Raleigh, N.C. – Today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) sent a letter to Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Jeff Zients, COVID-19 Coordinator for the White House, urging the Biden administration to study North Carolina’s strategies for promoting equity in vaccination. Specifically, the letter highlights the state’s use of equity bumps in vaccine allocation to counties with larger populations of historically marginalized communities and the establishment of equity goals for health care providers.

This approach could serve as a model for the nation. A recent study found that after three weeks of using these novel data and allocation strategies, 93 percent of North Carolina counties that received an equity bump in allocation showed improvement in the share of vaccines provided to individuals from historically marginalized populations. The letter urges the CDC and White House to consider wide-scale adoption of the strategies that North Carolina has piloted in public health crises going forward.

The letter, says, in part, “I believe North Carolina’s COVID-19 response can serve as a model in health equity for other states and for the federal government as we continue to battle this pandemic and prepare for future public health crises.

“North Carolina has been able to determine which counties have faced the greatest obstacles to vaccination and has provided an equity bump based on population as well as on the availability of providers who can help meet equity-based COVID-19 vaccination targets. Providers in the state also receive weekly reports on whether they are reaching historically marginalized populations at appropriate rates…Eliminating systemic barriers to vaccine access is crucial to bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. I strongly believe North Carolina’s efforts to improve vaccine equity among BIPOC and other historically marginalized communities can serve as a model for the nation as we continue to counter this pandemic and prepare for future public health challenges.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.