LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas’ COVID-19 vaccination program is about to get a huge boost from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC has awarded $29,127,271 to Arkansas in supporting local efforts to increase vaccine uptake by expanding COVID-19 vaccine programs to ensure greater equity and access to those disproportionately affected by the virus.
That ward is all part of the $3 billion in funding that the CDC has granted to 64 jurisdictions to bolster vaccine distribution, access, and administrative efforts.
The funding was made possible by the American Rescue Plan and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and will supply support to state and local health departments and community-based organizations as they work on the frontlines.
“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.”
To ensure health equity and expanded access to COVID-19 vaccines:
- 75% 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% 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.
These awards are part of ongoing efforts by CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase public education, awareness, and access to COVID-19 vaccines and strengthen health equity.
Fore more information on where funds will be distributed, click HERE.