COVID-19 Vaccination Equity
The deadline for application submissions has been extended until 5 pm Central on Monday, April 12.
Before submitting an application, please read the complete Call for Proposals here.
All Application documents and resources can be found here.
St. David’s Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, and United Way for Greater Austin will award 6-10 grants of up to $50,000 to grassroots, community-based organizations that can support underserved communities in accessing vaccinations and addressing vaccination hesitancy.
March 29: Call for Proposals Opens
April 8: Application deadline at 5:00 pm CT
May 1: Grant Term Starts
August 31: Grant Term Ends
In order to combat the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and return our community to health and economic stability, we must work to ensure everyone who is medically able receives a vaccination. The general consensus among public health officials is that we must vaccinate 80 to 85 percent of the population to achieve herd immunity (The New England Journal of Medicine, February 2021).
Yet as of early March, Texas had fully vaccinated less than 10 percent of the eligible population of individuals aged 16 and older, putting Texas at the bottom of state rankings for vaccinated populations while we continue to rank at the top for new cases. Central Texas is slightly behind the rest of the state, with only eight percent of the eligible population (16 and older) fully vaccinated (Texas DSHS, March 2021). In addition, there are significant disparities in the distribution of vaccine doses in Texas. Hispanic individuals are disproportionally impacted by COVID-19, making up more than 46 percent of fatalities and less than 40 percent of the overall population. Yet, less than 20 percent of those fully vaccinated identify as Hispanic. Similarly, the Black population makes up more than 16 percent of diagnosed COVID-19 cases in the state but has only received five percent of full vaccinations.
Barriers to vaccine access disproportionately impact individuals already affected by structural inequities, including those living with low income and communities of color. Additional barriers include fewer vaccination clinics located within communities most impacted by the pandemic, time-consuming online registration processes, digital inequity, lack of transportation to vaccine clinics, and language barriers among others. Furthermore, evidence suggests that some populations are hesitant to get vaccinated due to mistrust of the medical establishment and/or government or due to misinformation. Though vaccine confidence is rising, recent polls indicate that more than 30 percent of the US population is hesitant, with 20 percent quite reluctant (The New England Journal of Medicine, February 2021).
St. David’s Foundation, the Austin Community Foundation, and United Way for Greater Austin are partnering to provide funding to community-based, grassroots organizations with authentic linkages in the community to support equitable vaccine access efforts. Proposed projects must demonstrate increased vaccination rates for underserved, unserved, and disconnected populations including the following:
- Communities of color
- Immigrants / Refugees
- People with disabilities
- Older adults living on low income
- People experiencing homelessness
- Others experiencing systemic barriers
Proposed work must include one or more of the following strategies that are culturally appropriate for priority communities targeted/selected:
- Direct outreach to hesitant populations through safe in-person methods, phone or online calls, or other person-to-person communication methods.
- Public messaging focused on “peer” messengers such as partnering with influential individuals in the community.
- Decreasing digital access and literacy gaps with direct support in registering individuals with public health systems or appointment scheduling using appropriate confidentiality protocols.
- Transportation to vaccination appointments with appropriate COVID and other safety precautions and confidentiality protocols.
- Translation or interpretation services directly addressing inequitable access to vaccination information or appointment scheduling.
We also welcome proposals that suggest other avenues for addressing vaccination inequities. Applicants can select “Other” in the application process to propose work not specifically outlined above. Applicants that select “Other” should include supporting information that explains why the strategy they are proposing is most effective.
We encourage applications from organizations that are deeply connected to priority populations. We also encourage proposals from faith communities and/or other forms of partnerships.
Because of the urgency of the timeline, priority will be given to organizations that can begin work immediately.