August 20, 2021 under Posts

About Our Vaccine Education & Outreach in Black Communities

WHAT: On July 27, Governor Cuomo announced the allocation of $15 million to five nonprofits, including FPWA, to address vaccine hesitancy and promote vaccination in communities across New York State that have been the hardest-hit by the Covid-19 epidemic.

This is an especially urgent issue in Black, Hispanic, Asian, and other underserved communities as the Delta variant spreads; we know that 98.8% of deaths from the Covid-19 infection in New York City in 2021 were those who weren’t fully vaccinated.

WHEN: One week after we received the state’s funding, we released an RFP for community- and faith-based organizations across New York State that work with Black communities to apply for grants. At the same time, we commenced planning for our grantee virtual coaching as well as direct outreach to Black New Yorkers.

HOW: Through the RFP, we’re offering 40-60 grants upwards of $20,000 to community and faith-based organizations. We know from our Census 2020 work that hyperlocal, boots-on-the-ground outreach is the most effective way to develop a deep, true understanding about each community. The scalable, flexible, and effective program design created for our Census 2020 initiative is our foundation for this vaccine program.

We will work with community-based partners who have earned the trust of their neighbors. Using tools and training that FPWA has developed, our partners will launch public education campaigns and outreach to address vaccine hesitancy, ensure accurate vaccine and Covid-19 information is shared, and try to reach every vaccine-eligible person in the target communities.

Our work doesn’t end there. We will also create and conduct a series of virtual convenings with our grantees throughout the state which will be centered on Covid-19 testing, vaccine outreach, and community engagement. We also plan to directly contact Black New Yorkers through phone calls and texts to answer questions, address misinformation, and provide help coordinating vaccination appointments.

WHY FPWA: We were chosen as one of the five nonprofit awardees because of our early commitment to disseminating accurate Covid-19 and vaccine information while encouraging vaccine acceptance. We were one of the founding members of The Task Force for Vaccine Equity and Education, with the goals of ensuring accessibility and addressing concerns in Black communities about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. We also served on Governor Cuomo’s Vaccine Equity Task Force; the $15 million grant was an outgrowth of this task force.

You can find out more about our work here. 

The C.D.C recently dubbed Covid-19 the “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” With this program, it is within our ability to prevent Covid deaths in communities that have already had to weather the worst of the pandemic thus far.