Gov. Wolf, community leaders highlight grant program promoting COVID-19 vaccine outreach

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WHTM) — On Friday, Governor Tom Wolf joined local lawmakers, community leaders, and medical professionals in North Philadelphia to highlight a new grant program that will support community organizations’ COVID-19 vaccine outreach efforts.

Organizations including nonprofits, childcare facilities, and educational institutions are eligible to apply to the COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Grant Program, which has $5 million to distribute in $10,000-$100,000 grants.

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The funds can be used to “support proactive, targeted outreach efforts such as sponsorship of vaccine-related community events, equipment rental to assist with setting vaccine appointments, local media buys, [and] creation of outreach and training materials,” according to a press release from Wolf’s office.

“Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to increase, protecting our health and the health of our most vulnerable individuals who are unable to get the vaccine yet — namely, children under age 12. While we’ve made great strides, there is still work to be done,” Gov. Wolf said.

Although overall 70% of Pennsylvanians ages 18 and older are fully vaccinated, vaccination disparities continue to impact Black/African American, Latinx, LGBTQ, low-income, unhoused, and rural community members. Those with limited Internet access and those with less trust in the government also experience vaccination disparities, according to the press release.

“The people standing with us today, along with hundreds of others in our communities, are doing heroic work trying to end this pandemic by reaching out to the reluctant and battling misinformation,” state Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery), said. “State support for this effort will help keep the momentum going and the work spreading street by street and house by house.”

“There are many trusted grassroots organizations that are using their established relationships in our communities to raise awareness, reduce hesitancy, and address barriers to vaccine access. This grant program will put money and resources into the hands of the best people to do this work,” Wolf said.

Watch Friday’s press conference here:

Applications for the COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Grant Program can be submitted through Nov. 1, 2021. Additional information about the program can be found on the Department of Community and Economic Development’s website here.

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