Health Care News, Health Center Federal Policy, Health Center News, Uncategorized

A Winter Boost for Vaccinations and Health Centers

Woman prepping vaccine shot

The White House recently unveiled a COVID-19 Winter Preparedness Plan to make vaccinations, testing and treatment even more widely available as cases surge. One feature of their plan jumpstarts a partnership with the U.S. Postal Service to mail free at-home COVID tests to households. The plan also calls for “additional resources to Community Health Centers and aging and disability networks to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts.”  

Activities include building vaccine trust and vaccine adherence

The Biden Administration is concerned about a notable rise in COVID, flu and respiratory infections as winter sets in. The announcement comes on the heels of $350 million in one-time funding to health centers to boost COVID-19 vaccinations in their communities, with a specific focus on underserved populations. Health centers can use the funds to expand:

  • outreach and education
  • community engagement
  • coordinated events to increase COVID-19 vaccinations through mobile, drive-up, walk-up, or community-based vaccination events, including working with community and faith-based organizations

The funding will support vaccine administration of the updated COVID-19 vaccine, the COVID-19 primary series and/or other (e.g., influenza) vaccines. The expanded COVID funding allows health centers to continue efforts to form new or strengthen current on-the-ground partnerships with other entities to build vaccine trust and vaccine adherence. It is this particular aspect of health centers’ work that strengthens the public health infrastructure — filling health gaps, meeting people where they are and bringing preventive services to them.

View NACHC’s one-pager on this new COVID-19 funding

Deadline for health centers to submit information

Health centers have until Sunday, January 8, 2023, to submit information about planned activities and costs that the funding will support. There’s a technical assistance webpage for award submission guidance.

Health centers have played a pivotal role in fighting COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. They have provided services to the nation’s most at-risk, medically underserved communities, administering more than 22 million vaccines, of which 70 percent have gone to patients who are racial and ethnic minorities.