Health and Human Service (HHS) Secretary Becerra, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Fudge Announce Joint Effort to Increase Access to COVID-19 Vaccinations:
May 5 – U.S. Health and Human Service (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge announced a joint-agency effort to increase access to COVID-19 prevention and treatment services, including testing and vaccinations, among disproportionately affected communities, including among HUD-assisted households and people experiencing homelessness. This program will leverage the Health Center COVID-19 Health Vaccine Program which currently provides a direct supply of vaccines to nearly 800 health centers across the country. HHS and HUD expect the effort will reach over 6,000 multifamily housing properties, 6,700 homeless shelters, and approximately 7,500 public housing properties across the country to respond to and stop the spread of COVID-19.
May 4 – Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing the availability of nearly $1 billion to strengthen COVID-19 response efforts and increase vaccinations in rural communities. As part of the Biden Administration’s commitment to expanding access to vaccines and ensuring equity in the COVID-19 response, the Health Resources and Services Administration, a part of HHS, will increase the number of vaccines sent to rural communities, expand testing and other COVID-19 prevention services, and work to increase vaccine confidence by empowering trusted local voices with additional funding for outreach efforts in underserved communities.
“Rural health providers are vital to ensure equity in COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and in making sure rural residents have the information about vaccine safety, especially for populations who are at an increased risk for COVID-19 infection or severe illness due to systemic health and social inequities and geographic isolation,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Support to Rural Health Clinics and small rural hospitals for COVID-19 testing, strengthening vaccine allocation and confidence, and vaccine outreach will help rural residents make informed health decisions about COVID-19 to protect themselves and their communities.”
May 4 – 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.