(WTXL) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded Florida $194,069,672 to support local efforts to increase vaccine uptake by expanding COVID-19 vaccine programs and ensuring greater equity and access to vaccines by those disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
The award is part of $3 billion in funding that the CDC granted to 64 jurisdictions to bolster broad-based vaccine distribution, access, and administration efforts.
The funding is available due to the American Rescue Plan and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and will provide support through the CDC’s existing immunization cooperative agreements in communities around the country.
“We are doing everything we can to expand access to vaccinations,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH. “Millions of Americans are getting vaccinated every day, but we need to ensure that we are reaching those in the communities hit hardest by this pandemic. This investment will support state and local health departments and community-based organizations as they work on the frontlines to increase vaccine access, acceptance, and uptake.”
Funding can be used for innovative partnerships with community-based organizations to increase vaccine uptake, including in underserved populations.
Fund requirements include:
- 75 percent of the total funding must focus on specific programs and initiatives intended to increase vaccine access, acceptance, and uptake among racial and ethnic minority communities; and,
- 60 percent must go to support local health departments, community-based organizations, and community health centers.
For example, funds could be used to identify and train trusted members of the community to conduct door-to-door outreach to raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccines and help individuals sign up for appointments.
Funds may also be used to support hiring community health workers who perform culturally competent bilingual health outreach so they can provide people who are receiving care with the information they need to get a free vaccination.
The awards are part of ongoing efforts by CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase public education, awareness, and access to COVID-19 vaccines and strengthen health equity.
Last week, HHS launched the COVID-19 Community Corps, a nationwide, grassroots network of community leaders people know and trust, to encourage Americans to get vaccinated. Community Corps members will receive weekly updates on the latest scientific and medical updates, talking points about the vaccine, social media suggestions, infographics, factsheets with timely and accurate information, and tools to help people get registered for an appointment and vaccinated.
The Community Corps launched on Thursday, April 1 with over 275 founding members, and as of Friday, April 2, more than 3,000 had already signed up.
For information on where funds will be distributed, click here.