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The American Health Podcast is created by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, a project of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Initiative works to tackle some of the most pressing challenges to public health in the United States: Addiction and Overdose, Environmental Challenges, Obesity and the Food System, Risks to Adolescent Health and Violence. Visit to learn more.

Jan 26, 2021

This American Health episode is a rebroadcast of Public Health on Call, a podcast produced by the Bloomberg School of Public Health that offers science and evidence-based insights to help understand today’s public health news—and what it means for tomorrow.

This episode — originally broadcast on January 7, 2021— highlights one of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative’s cross-cutting themes—equity—and focuses on Massachusetts’ unique approach to COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Led by Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel, this effort includes prioritizing communities impacted by institutional racism and those with disproportionately high numbers of COVID-19 infections. 

In a conversation with Dr. Josh Sharfstein, Vice Dean of Public Health Practice and Community Engagement, and Director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, Dr. Bharel talks about what Massachusetts is doing to go beyond just making the vaccine available to support high uptake of vaccination among people who can benefit the most.