Funding The Vaccine Equity Project

To solve problems facing individual communities, community-level outreach and collaboration are key. They are also the foundational principles for the Partnering for Vaccine Equity program, which supports more than 500 organizations in a shared effort to increase vaccine confidence and uptake via influential messengers. 

Finding people and organizations that are trusted by the community and who can provide culturally appropriate information that resonates with the community of interest is critical. The National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) supports projects that address the systemic disadvantages experienced by racial and ethnic minority groups, rural communities, and communities that face a disproportionate burden of adverse outcomes from public health threats. In the fall of 2021, NNPHI announced funding (via CDC) for “National Infrastructure for Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 within Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities: The Vaccine Equity Project.” The request for proposals (RFP) prompted a robust response from community-based organizations.

After a very competitive proposal process, NNPHI selected five organizations as subrecipients of its CDC funding, each receiving $600,000: the African Family Health Organization, Project HEALINGS in Minnesota, The Dolores Huerta Foundation, The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, and Public Health Solutions. Through the Vaccine Equity Project, these organizations provide resources and support to their communities of focus – including racial and ethnic minority groups (such as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, and American Indian/Alaska Native Tribal populations), as well as immigrant and rural communities.

Learn more about The Vaccine Equity Project and the award winners here

To maximize awareness and interest among community-based organizations, NNPHI sent out “heads up” messages through social media a month in advance so that community-based organizations would be ready to apply. NNPHI held three two-hour open online forums with potential applicants to help them understand what they needed to do and how to write up proposed strategies to engage communities and improve vaccination uptake. The RFP was released through NNPHI’s network of public health institutes, on social media, through subject matter experts, and other collaborators, and NNPHI asked recipients to forward the RFP to their network of collaborating organizations and community representatives. 

To read more about how NNPHI provided guidance and technical assistance to community-based organizations that applied for funding, and how they selected the five award winners for The Vaccine Equity Project visit the CDC’s Stories from the Field page.