The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded Guam $1.9 million to expand the island's COVID-19 vaccine programs and ensure greater equity and access to the vaccine.
The award is part of $3 billion in funding that CDC has granted to 64 jurisdictions to bolster broad-based vaccine distribution, access, and administration efforts.
The funding was made available by the American Rescue Plan and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and will provide critical support through CDC’s existing immunization cooperative agreements in communities around the country.
“We are doing everything we can to expand access to vaccinations,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH. “Millions of Americans are getting vaccinated every day, but we need to ensure that we are reaching those in the communities hit hardest by this pandemic. This investment will support state and local health departments and community-based organizations as they work on the frontlines to increase vaccine access, acceptance, and uptake.”
The money can be used for innovative partnerships with community-based organizations to increase vaccine uptake with a specific focus on health equity and expanded access.
Conditions of the funding include that: 75% of the total funding must focus on specific programs and initiatives intended to increase vaccine access, acceptance, and uptake among racial and ethnic minority communities; and, 60% must go to support local health departments, community-based organizations, and community health centers.
The CDC cited examples of the way the funds could be used including identifying and training trusted members of the community to conduct door-to-door outreach to raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccines and helping individuals sign up for appointments. The money can also be used to support hiring community health workers who perform culturally-competent bilingual health outreach so they can provide people who are receiving care with the information they need to get a free vaccination.