As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden-Harris Administration is providing $121 million to support the work of trusted community-based efforts to increase vaccinations in underserved communities. These awards will go to community-based organizations across the country that are working in their communities to build vaccine confidence, share factual information about vaccines, and answer people's questions about getting vaccinated. This investment is part of the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to support and empower local trusted voices within communities to help encourage vaccination, protect more people, and save lives. This funding was made available by the American Rescue Plan and is being distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
These awards, in addition to $125 million awarded last month, establish, expand and sustain community-based efforts to mobilize community outreach workers, community health workers, patient navigators, social support specialists and others to increase vaccinations.
"We understand the important role trusted messengers in local communities play to help people make informed health care decisions, including whether to get a COVID-19 vaccine," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "Today's investments are part of the Biden-Harris Administration's efforts to strengthen equity and support organizations that focus on underserved communities as they work to increase vaccinations and keep people safe and healthy."
Award recipients will engage with regional and local partners, including faith-based organizations, regional and local health departments, health centers and other community-based health providers, and minority-serving institutions, to reach underserved and high-risk communities to help bolster COVID-19 vaccination rates. For example, this funding will be used to support partnerships between academic and community-based organizations like churches and local fire departments to improve COVID-19 health literacy and vaccination rates in rural counties. Likewise, funding will support African American, Latino, and Tribal partnerships that engage clergy, churchgoers, adolescents, and others with trusted information about vaccines and work within their communities to get more people vaccinated.
"This community-based COVID-19 vaccine outreach program will make it possible to reach people in vulnerable and medically underserved communities and help reduce disparities in COVID-19 vaccination rates," said Acting HRSA Administrator Diana Espinosa.
For a list of awards recipients, see https://www.hrsa.gov/coronavirus/local-community-based-workforce.
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Learn more about how HRSA is addressing COVID-19 and health equity.