Vaccines are one of the greatest public health achievements of all time. Over the past two decades alone, vaccines have saved over 37 million lives worldwide. At Immunize Colorado, we believe everyone – regardless of race, ethnicity, ability, income, or other factor – deserves to have reliable information about and access to life-saving vaccines. Read on to see how Immunize Colorado is spearheading efforts to advance vaccine equity in our state and champion vaccines for all.
Colorado Vaccine Equity Taskforce
Systemic racism has driven a serious public health crisis in Colorado and beyond, evidenced through COVID-19's disproportionate impact on communities of color (with Black, Hispanic and Native American communities experiencing higher rates of disease and death). To address this crisis and work toward vaccine equity, Immunize Colorado launched the Colorado Vaccine Equity Taskforce in 2020. The Taskforce helped to prioritize strategies for equitable COVID-19 vaccine delivery, access, and education, and implemented efforts to reduce barriers to vaccination. Through outreach, policy, and communications work in English and Spanish, the Taskforce also combatted misinformation targeted predominately at communities of color about vaccines, informed research and implementation efforts for COVID-19 vaccines, and held decision makers accountable for achieving vaccine equity in Colorado.
While the COVID-19 public health emergency ended and the Taskforce officially dissolved in 2022, our work is not complete. Immunize Colorado continues to center vaccine equity in all we do; throughout our six core areas of focus, we are working to advance best practices and proven strategies gleaned from the COVID-19 pandemic to reach underresourced communities and break down barriers to vaccination.
Vaccine Sundays is a project designed to provide vetted information from trusted resources to the underserved Spanish-speaking community in Colorado at local Sunday Church service. The goal is to make prevention education and outreach part of the Church's ministry. Julissa Soto, who leads the program as Immunize Colorado's Vaccine Sunday Ambassador, educates congregations on infection prevention habits, teaches infection control strategies, and provides information on how to access vaccines.
Colorado Refugee & Immigrant Immunization Taskforce
Established in 2015 by Immunize Colorado, the Colorado Refugee and Immigrant Immunization Taskforce convenes key stakeholders in refugee immunization to address opportunities and challenges that face providers and the community and to support improved immunization delivery, access and education among Colorado’s refugee and immigrant populations. In 2017, the Taskforce launched the Colorado Refugee Immunization Provider Resource Hub to serve as a centralized compilation of resources related to refugee-specific immunization guidelines and additional screening, data, contact and cultural information. After a hiatus, the Taskforce reconvened in 2023 and is currently working to address vaccine access issues for Venezuelan refugees and other Spanish-speaking populations resettling from South America.
Interested in joining the Taskforce? Contact us.