The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has awarded $17.9 million in grants to 149 organizations to promote health equity in COVID-19 vaccinations in Wisconsin. This includes community-based organizations, local and tribal health departments, school districts, and health systems. The organizations will use the funds to serve as trusted messengers within their community to help reduce barriers to vaccine access among marginalized or underserved populations.
About the funding source
This funding is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) largest investment to date to support communities affected by COVID-19-related health disparities. It is part of $2.25 billion provided through the Public Law 116-260 Coronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. Its goal address COVID-19-related health disparities and advance health equity among populations that are at high-risk and underserved, including racial and ethnic minority groups and people living in rural areas.
The Vaccination Community Outreach Grant program was a statewide Request for Application (RFA) to fund efforts among community-based organizations to provide accurate, timely, reliable information to build confidence in the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, reduce racial and geographic barriers to COVID-19 immunization, and activate trusted messengers in sharing information about critical COVID-19 public health measures and vaccination. This program funded projects spanning across the state, focusing on improving access and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines through a variety of strategies. Strategies include culturally specific messaging, partnerships with local businesses, community leaders, and community health workers, and block- by -block vaccination efforts. So far, this program has supported over 2,500 vaccination events, over 22,000 COVID-19 vaccination education and outreach events, and millions of media advertisements promoting accurate COVID-19 vaccine information. However, barriers to accessing COVID-19 vaccination and accurate COVID-19 information persists across the state, highlighting the need to continue this important work into 2022.
For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage. We encourage you to follow @DHSWI on Facebook, Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.