Reducing inequities during the COVID-19 pandemic: a rapid review and synthesis of public health recommendations

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated inequities related to social determinants of health. While many recommendations have been made to address social determinants of COVID-19, they have not been compiled or analyzed systematically prior to this review.

The authors systematically reviewed early commentaries (December 2019-April 2020) from peer-reviewed publications discussing the intersection of COVID-19 and social determinants. Most major social determinants were addressed in these commentaries. Income, age, occupation, and race/ethnicity were the most commonly identified areas of concern. The intersection of unintended consequences of containment strategies with the social determinants of health was also a key area of focus.

The authors then synthesized recommendations according to levels of public health interventions, from primary prevention strategies (reducing number of infections) to tertiary prevention strategies (preventing complications of COVID-19). The authors found consistency in recommendations for interventions by governments, public health authorities, and organizations.

The review sheds light on the importance of inclusion of vulnerable populations in decision-making, and of adapting strategies for local populations, contexts, and geographies. The synthesized recommendations could support policy makers and public health practitioners in developing more equitable COVID-19 responses.

Preferred citation (Vancouver style):

Brown C, Wilkins K, Craig-Neil A, Upshaw T, Pinto AD. Reducing Inequities During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Rapid Review and Synthesis of Public Health Recommendations. Public Health Rev [Internet]. 2022 Jan 17;42. Available from:




Authors: Brown C, Wilkins K, Craig-Neil A, Upshaw T, Pinto AD

Year: 2022