New Vaccine Equity Cooperative Launches to Advance COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Readiness
BOSTON and OAKLAND, Calif., June 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Vaccine Equity Cooperative, a new national collaboration of community health-focused organizations, has launched an online resource hub and information platform to support community-based workforces as they work to increase COVID-19 vaccine access and readiness across the U.S during the most challenging stage of the vaccination effort. As communities of color continue to be disproportionately impacted by vaccine misinformation, mistrust and barriers to access, the website provides curated resources and real-time updates vetted by trusted health care, public health and racial equity experts, as well as opportunities to share content and connect in open forums.
While more than half the adults in the U.S. have been vaccinated, the rate of white people receiving at least one vaccine dose is still 1.4 times higher than that of Black people and 1.2 times higher than that of Hispanic people. People with lingering questions about COVID-19 vaccine safety and access are continuing to turn to trusted local leaders, organizers and health workers in their communities for advice and support about COVID-19 vaccines.
With the country projected to fall short of the Biden administration’s goal of getting 70 percent of American adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4th, supporting local outreach and 1:1 conversations with those facing the most barriers and skepticism will be essential to the success of vaccination efforts, efforts to safely re-open and long-term national public health.
“Community-based and public health workforces have long been underfunded and under-supported, but proved to be absolutely critical to the pandemic response and vaccine rollout,” said Alexandra Quinn, CEO of Health Leads. “The Vaccine Equity Cooperative envisions a world where local workforces have the resources they need—not only to respond to crises, but proactively address ongoing barriers to health. With a goal of enabling racial health equity, our Cooperative will be an ongoing effort to strengthen our public and community health infrastructure through public and private investment, advocacy, and sharing resources and learnings from and with communities across the country.”
Difficulties in accessing accurate information, online registration, language barriers, hard-to-reach vaccination sites and failure of institutions to gain trust are only a few of the factors that have contributed to the disparities in U.S. vaccination rates. While other general population vaccine-related resource hubs exist, the Cooperative’s site offers curated toolkits tailored to community types and drawn from trusted organizations and local leaders.
“Frontline community-based workers and leaders have been the trusted sources and translators of complex health information for generations, but COVID-19 vaccines introduced a host of new data, questions and misinformation,” said Denise Octavia Smith, Executive Director of the National Association of Community Health Workers, a founding partner of the project. “This website helps them navigate readiness and access efforts with community-specific tools and resources from people and organizations that they can trust.”
The Cooperative is encouraging all community-based workforce members to collaborate on the project by giving feedback on published resources, sending questions and requests for information, or sharing new resources and events for publication on the site.
Visit the resource hub and learn more about the Vaccine Equity Cooperative at www.vaccineequitycooperative.org.
About the Vaccine Equity Cooperative
The Vaccine Equity Cooperative is a national collaboration of organizations committed to racial health equity, including Health Leads, CONVINCE USA, National Association of Community Health Workers, Native Ways Federation and Partners In Health. The Cooperative works to increase access to trusted health resources, expand investment in community-based organizations, and strengthen policy in support of community-based and public health workforces. The Cooperative is supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, The JPB Foundation, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation. For more information and the Cooperative’s resource hub, visit www.vaccineequitycooperative.org.
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SOURCE Vaccine Equity Cooperative