COVID-19

Texas A&M Health, DSHS Award $10 Million In Grants To Support Vaccination Efforts Across State

The funding will support community-based organizations in implementing COVID-19 vaccine outreach and educational activities.
By Dee Dee Grays, Texas A&M University Health Science Center July 29, 2021

nursing student putting a syringe in a vial of the covid vaccine
Grants will give organizations the resources to expand their efforts to serve hard-to-reach communities affected by the pandemic.

Mark Guerrero/Texas A&M Division of Marketing & Communications

 

The Texas A&M University Health Science Center (Texas A&M Health) has been selected by Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) – Immunization to administer the Texas Vaccine Outreach and Education Grant program.

Through this new program, $10 million in federal funds will be awarded to community-based organizations to support the implementation of COVID-19 vaccine outreach and educational activities aimed at boosting vaccination rates and increasing public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.

“Community-based organizations have played a critical role in ensuring people across Texas have access to COVID-19 vaccines, and they have innovative ideas about how to engage the communities they work with,” said Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services. “These grants will give them the resources to expand their efforts to serve hard-to-reach communities that have been seriously affected by the pandemic.”

Currently, 52.3 percent of Texans 12 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, ranking the state’s vaccination rate at 33rd in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Texas’ lower vaccination rate has been attributed to factors including vaccine hesitancy and access.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Texas A&M Health has worked closely with the Texas Department of State Health Services to educate the public about COVID-19 and the importance of being vaccinated,” said Olga Rodriguez, associate vice president and chief of staff of Texas A&M Health. “This program will not only help reach those communities that have had little to no access to the vaccines but also dispel misinformation about the vaccines.”

Organizations including educational agencies, faith-based organizations, government entities, community coalitions and nonprofit organizations can apply for and be awarded a grant totaling $50,000-$150,000 for a six- to nine-month project period. Priority will be given to applicants who focus on reaching communities of color, Texans with disabilities and rural communities.

Texas organizations are able to submit proposals beginning today, with anticipated award notifications beginning at the end of August.

For additional eligibility information and how to apply, organizations can visit the grant’s website.

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