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ACLU, Urban League pushing for COVID-19 vaccine equality for at-risk populations

Letter calls for transparency and equality for at-risk populations
ACLU letter
Posted at 6:11 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 18:20:34-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The ACLU of Indiana and several community organizations have teamed up to send a letter to Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb calling for transparency and equity when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

WRTV has reported in the past on how certain communities have been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19. According to the ACLU, the infection rate in prisons is 83% higher than the state’s infection rate as a whole.

Those in congregate care facilities and minority populations have also been disproportionally impacted.

“That comes not only because their health situation, they tend to have higher comorbidities, they have jobs which expose them more to the virus,” said Jane Henegar with the ACLU of Indiana.

That is something Tony Mason with the Indianapolis Urban League has seen first-hand.

“Every day we get to see the impacts in the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic," Mason said. "The families in the community that we serve have struggled well before the pandemic, but the disparities have worsened what we see."

He said groups like the Urban League are ready and willing to help educate at-risk communities and help distribute the vaccine.

“We hosted COVID-19 testing here as part of our drive-through food distributions, we've always done flu shots here, so we are willing to play our part as a community partner to make it available,” Mason said.

Right now under the state's plan phase 1-A of the distribution plan includes healthcare workers. 1-B lists vulnerable populations, however, the specifics have yet to be released.

The ACLU and other organizations hope Holcomb takes their letter into account and releases more specifics of the plan soon.