What Prioritizing Worse-Off Minority Groups for COVID-19 Vaccines Means Quantitatively: Practical, Legal and Ethical Implications

34 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2020

See all articles by Harald Schmidt

Harald Schmidt

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine

M. Utku Ünver

Boston College, Department of Economics

Michelle A. Williams

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Parag A. Pathak

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

Tayfun Sonmez

Boston College - Department of Economics

Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

Date Written: October 27, 2020

Abstract

To help mitigate structural disadvantage, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) framework for equitably allocating COVID-19 vaccines proposed increasing allocations to worse-off minorities through the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). However, the extent of benefit is unknown. Moreover, since SVI includes a race variable and could face legal challenges, it is desirable to quantify using an alternative such as the Area Deprivation Index (ADI) that does not include race and can offer more targeted prioritization as it is centered on the block-group, not census-tract level. We therefore sought to determine what shares of minorities would be offered vaccines under the NASEM’s allocation framework comparing: 1) no disadvantage index, to 2) SVI to 3) ADI.

Suggested Citation

Schmidt, Harald and Unver, Utku and Williams, Michelle A. and Pathak, Parag A. and Sonmez, Tayfun Oguz and Gostin, Lawrence O., What Prioritizing Worse-Off Minority Groups for COVID-19 Vaccines Means Quantitatively: Practical, Legal and Ethical Implications (October 27, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3716686 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3716686

Harald Schmidt

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine ( email )

423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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Utku Unver (Contact Author)

Boston College, Department of Economics ( email )

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6175640771 (Phone)
+1 (617) 552 2318 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.bc.edu/~unver

Michelle A. Williams

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

Parag A. Pathak

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
E52-391
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Tayfun Oguz Sonmez

Boston College - Department of Economics ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9038 (Phone)
202-662-9055 (Fax)

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