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Community Voice and Equitable Policymaking in the United States: Lessons from COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

By Audrey Richardson,


The effects of COVID-19 on the United States, and the world, underscore the importance of creating change that strengthens the health and economic well-being of vulnerable populations. Families USA launched the Building a New Normal Through Vaccine Equity initiative to elevate promising practices that ensured equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution and strengthened the influence of community voice in policy decisions. As part of this initiative, Families USA engaged community leaders and leaders at statewide organizations to identify how state officials can support community-driven efforts, sustain successful partnerships built during the pandemic and develop equity-focused policy solutions to address systemic issues. This paper focuses on three recommendations that provide a path for states attempting to build a “new normal” that centers equity in their broader health efforts and addresses deep-rooted structural inequities.

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