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Promoting Equitable COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution in the Greater DC Region

Join the Urban Institute and the Urban–Greater DC initiative for a virtual discussion on prioritizing equitable vaccine distribution to advance the health and safety of the public and protect vulnerable communities in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV). 

The COVID-19 vaccines have brought hope about the end of the pandemic, but the US faces distribution challenges. With a limited vaccine supply, officials in the DMV have tried to target delivery by restricting eligibly to certain groups, but early data show significant racial inequities in vaccination rates. Black and Latinx DMV residents are less likely to receive the vaccine than white residents, despite facing higher mortality rates from COVID-19 and greater virus exposure risks at their jobs. These inequities could both prolong suffering for the communities who have borne the brunt of the pandemic’s impacts and undermine an equitable economic recovery. 

This conversation will focus on current vaccine distribution efforts in the DMV and explore strategies to improve equity and promote health for the most vulnerable communities.  


  • Travis Gayles, County Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County, Maryland 
  • Jennifer M. Haley, Research Associate, Health Policy Center, Urban Institute 
  • George A. Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Bread for the City 
  • Monique King-Viehland, Director, State and Local Housing Policy, Urban Institute (moderator)



As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate racial and socioeconomic inequities in the DMV region, this series convenes Urban Institute subject matter experts and local changemakers working on the ground to discuss which policies and programs are needed to support communities in the short-term and how we might reimagine what the region could be, including a framework for equitable growth, in a post-COVID-19 world. The series is part of Urban–Greater DC, an initiative to build knowledge that empowers Urban scholars and local partners to build on the region’s assets to confront inequities and create a region of shared prosperity.


We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Image credit: Mihai_Andritoiu/Shutterstock


Date & Time Tuesday, March 23, 2021

  • Principal Research Associate
  • Associate Vice President, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy