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HHS Announces $250 Million from American Rescue Plan to Develop and Support a Community-Based Workforce to Increase COVID-19 Vaccinations in Underserved Communities

Today, thanks to the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced the availability of approximately $250 million to develop and support a community-based workforce who will serve as trusted voices sharing information about vaccines, increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence, and address any barriers to vaccination for individuals living in vulnerable and medically underserved communities.

This funding will help community-based organizations to hire and mobilize community outreach workers, community health workers, social support specialists and others to conduct on-the-ground outreach to educate and assist individuals in getting the information they need about vaccination, help make vaccine appointments, and assist with transportation and other needs to get to individuals to each of their vaccination appointments.

“Increasing public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and boosting uptake remains a critical part of our fight against this virus,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Today’s funding is critically important for connecting vulnerable and underserved communities with trusted health voices who can help deliver vaccinations and information to keep them safe and protect their loved ones.”

“HRSA is uniquely suited to oversee this effort because of its long-standing mission and programs that work every day to improve health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable,” said Acting HRSA Administrator Diana Espinosa. “Through HRSA’s Community-Based Workforce for COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Program, recipients will partner with community organizations to serve populations that have historically suffered from poorer health outcomes, health disparities, and other inequities.”

The first of two funding opportunities is released today. Approximately 10 award recipients will be funded to engage with multiple organizations regionally and locally, including with community based organizations, health centers, minority-serving institutions, and other health and social service entities. The second funding opportunity will be released in the near future and will focus on smaller community-based organizations.

To apply for the Community-Based Workforce for COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Program Notice of Funding Opportunity, visit Grants.gov. Applications are due May 18, 2021, at
11:59 p.m. ET. Applicants should contact CBOVaccineOutreach@hrsa.gov with any questions.

Learn more about how HRSA is addressing COVID-19 and health equity.

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