CDC awards more than $77 million to expand Virginia’s coronavirus vaccine programs

Coronavirus

(WFXR) — As a way to support local efforts to increase vaccine uptake, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently awarded Virginia $77,125,694 to expand coronavirus vaccine programs and ensure greater equity and access to vaccines for those disproportionately impacted by the virus.

According to a statement shared by a White House representative on Tuesday, April 6, the award is part of $3 billion in funding granted to 64 jurisdictions by the CDC to bolster broad-based vaccine distribution, access, and administration efforts. 

The funding — reportedly made available by the American Rescue Plan and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act — is set to provide critical 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.”

According to officials, in order to ensure health equity and expanded access to COVID-19 vaccines, the funding will be regulated as follows:

  • 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
  • 60% must go to support local health departments, community-based organizations, and community health centers

For example, officials say the funds could be used to identify and train community members to conduct door-to-door outreach to raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccines and help individuals sign up for appointments. The funds could also go toward hiring community health workers who perform bilingual health outreach to provide people with the necessary information to get a free vaccination.

Officials say these awards are part of ongoing efforts by the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase public education, awareness, and access to COVID-19 vaccines, as well as strengthen health equity.

For a more detailed breakdown of how the funds will be distributed, click here.

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