Role of race in US vaccine rollout gets put to the test

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The role that race should play in deciding who gets priority for the COVID-19 vaccine has been put to the test in Oregon.

But people of color won’t be the specific focus in the next phase of the state’s rollout.

An advisory committee decided Thursday to prioritize those with chronic medical conditions, essential workers and others.

But the debate shows a growing commitment to put racial equity at the heart of the nation’s mass vaccination campaign as COVID-19 disproportionally affects people of color.

Experts say 18 states included ways to measure equity in their original vaccine distribution plans last fall and more have likely done so since the shots started arriving.

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