$400,000 in grant money awarded to organizations helping priority groups receive vaccinations
A dozen organizations received shares in over $400,000 worth of funding to help raise COVID vaccination rates among priority groups.
The Your Shot Texas funds are made possible through a partnership between the Episcopal Health Foundation in Houston, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. in San Antonio, the Meadows Foundation in Dallas, and several other philanthropic organizations across the state.
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Grant money was awarded to nonprofit organizations focused on reducing vaccine hesitancy and ensuring communities hardest hit by the pandemic have access to vaccines.
Funding comes amid a national push by President Biden to reach a 70% vaccination rate by July 4. Texas’s vaccination rate lags behind the national average along with many other southern and central states. According to numbers posted by Becker’s Hospital Review, Texas currently ranks 34th with just under 40% of its population fully vaccinated. The national average sits at 45.4%.
Vaccine disparities state-wide are especially seen in the Black community. Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that only 31% of the Black population has been vaccinated so far compared to 38% of the Hispanic/Latino community. Both fall behind the White population at 43%.
Elena Marks, president and CEO of Episcopal Health Foundation, said the Your Shot Texas fund was specifically designed to help address these disparities.
“This effort prioritizes these and other communities – including rural areas – that are outside the health care system. These groups are best reached by trusted messengers to address any remaining vaccine hesitancy and then they follow up with more convenient access to getting a vaccine.”
A second round of grants are coming soon. Non-profit organizations can register to be notified when the open application process will begin by visiting the Your Shot Texas website.