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Addressing racial/ethnic inequities in vaccine hesitancy and uptake: lessons learned from the California alliance against COVID-19.


Lack of trust in biomedical research, government, and health care systems, especially among racial/ethnic minorities and under-resourced communities, is a longstanding issue rooted in social injustice. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted existing health and socioeconomic inequities and increased the urgency for solutions to provide access to timely, culturally, and linguistically appropriate evidence-based information about COVID-19; and ultimately to promote vaccine uptake. California's statewide alliance STOP COVID-19 CA (comprising eleven sites), leverages long standing community partnerships to better understand concerns, misinformation, and address racial/ethnic inequities in vaccine hesitancy and uptake. Using data from the California CEAL Communication Working Group, we demonstrate the wide range of strategies, communication methods, languages, and trusted messengers that have been effective in reaching diverse communities across the state. We also showcase challenges and lessons learned, such as the importance of including trusted community partners to share information or provide vaccines. These approaches, rooted in community engagement, are crucial for addressing inequities and responding to future public health emergencies.

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