Lifesaving innovations for COVID-19 will only markedly increase the already existing racial inequalities, if public health initiatives for equitable dissemination throughout all communities are not immediately developed. The introduction of drugs for HIV, respiratory distress syndrome, and hepatitis C resulted in racial inequalities. Moreover, before the introduction of the Salk polio vaccine in 1952, initially, black Americans experienced significantly lower rates of paralytic polio than white Americans. By 1959, after the widespread distribution of the vaccine, the reverse was true.
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