Former Surgeons General Meet to Discuss COVID-19 Vaccination Equity
18 Aug 2021
In an effort to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations in communities of color, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and members of the White House Corona Virus response team recently met with former surgeons general to discuss advancing equity in our country’s COVID-19 response. Those who joined the meeting included exclusive APB speakers and former surgeons general Drs. M. Joycelyn Elders, David Satcher, Richard Carmona, Regina Benjamin and Jerome Adams. The physicians met to discuss how they could work together to ensure that communities of color have the information and access they need for vaccination.
“We came together from different backgrounds, serving under different political administrations to work together on a path toward ending this pandemic,” Murthy said. “And we all share the belief that science and public health are what will help us protect our nation from this pandemic.”
At the meeting, Murthy shared the latest data about the vaccines from a study by The New England Journal of Medicine, which found that two doses of the mRNA vaccines are 88% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 infection with the Delta variant.
“So, breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people are the exception, not the rule,” Murthy said. “And when they do happen, the vast majority are mild or asymptomatic.”
Murthy explained that misinformation has played a significant role in vaccine hesitancy and efforts are being made to assure access and equality to information and vaccines in communities of color. His office is working with grassroots organizations to fight misinformation.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, health misinformation has sowed confusion, reduced trust in public health measures and hindered efforts to get Americans vaccinated,” he said in a health advisory released in July. “And misinformation hasn’t just harmed our physical health—it has also divided our families, friends, and communities.”