Which US vaccine plans actually helped hard-hit communities?

Link: https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/06/07/1025824/us-vaccine-equity-success-story/


One success story took place in Philadelphia, thanks to an effective collaboration between two health systems and Black community leaders. Recognizing that the largely online signup process was hard for older people or those without internet access, Penn Medicine and Mercy Catholic Medical Center created a text-message-based signup system as well as a 24/7 interactive voice recording option that could be used from a land line, with doctors answering patients’ questions before appointments. Working with community leaders, the program held its first clinic at a church and vaccinated 550 people.


In Alabama, for example, National Guard mobile vaccination units were set up with the ultra-cold freezers needed to transport and store mRNA-based covid-19 vaccines. “Why not, when this particular push is over, leave those freezer units with the federally qualified health centers that are already in those communities?” McClure says. “You’re starting to build the infrastructure for being able to deliver vaccination on a consistent basis.”

Author(s): Mia Sato

Publication Date: 7 June 2021

Publication Site: MIT Technology Review

A new use for Confederate pension tax

Link: https://dothaneagle.com/opinion/editorial/a-new-use-for-confederate-pension-tax/article_69cfe562-9bc8-11eb-9169-47823e1bbef8.html


It will likely surprise most Alabama property owners that 156 years after the Civil War, they’re still paying a tax implemented to fund pensions for Confederate soldiers and their widows.

It’s safe to say that its original purpose has run its course. The last Confederate widow in Alabama, Alberta Martin of Elba, died in 2004. She had begun drawing a Confederate pension in 1996 after two local men learned that she wasn’t receiving the benefit.

However, it’s a rare occurrence when an implemented tax is removed, and the portion of the ad valorem assessment that feeds the Confederate pension fund has continued since its inception. Most of the money is diverted to other uses, but a portion — about $500,000 — was carved out to fund the Confederate Memorial Park in Mountain Creek, a state facility created in 1964 at the site of a former Confederate veterans home as “a shrine to the honor of Alabama’s citizens of the Confederacy.”

Author(s): Bill Perkins

Publication Date: 12 April 2021

Publication Site: Dothan Eagle