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Letter: Minority communities must have vaccine priority

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Gov. Spencer Cox answers a question during an interview with the Deseret News at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Thanks to Lisa Riley Roche for her article (“Utah governor says it’s ‘unacceptable’ for vaccines to sit on shelf, offers plan to speed process,” Jan 8). As a nursing student, I was pleased to see that in Utah’s official COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan minoritized communities were listed as a distinct group from the general public. In the article, however, Gov. Spencer Cox noted that these communities would not be prioritized, despite increased risk of contracting the virus.

I strongly urge Gov. Cox to prioritize minoritized communities. Due to systemic inequities, individuals from these communities are subjected to greater risk. We must recognize the disparity and seek equitable solutions. We must do more than build vaccination sites and hope that they will come. We must partner with these communities to ensure adequate vaccine supply, provide culturally and linguistically competent materials and empower individuals during this unprecedented time.

Madeline Juskie

San Diego, California