The Texas Department of State Health Services, in partnership with the Texas A&M University Health Science Center, has awarded more than $8.6 million to local organizations across the state through the Texas Vaccine Outreach and Education Grant Program. The program’s objective is to fund COVID-19 outreach and education activities aimed at increasing the number of fully vaccinated people in Texas.
“As our statewide COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue to show progress, DSHS believes these grants will have an immediate effect in neighborhoods across Texas,” said Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services. “Local organizations are trusted sources of information that can use their direct community connections to educate and help those who may be hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Grant awards range from $40,000 to $210,000 for projects with a duration of six to nine months. Awardees include a wide array of groups in the public, private and nonprofit sectors including grassroots community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, those who serve rural and immigrant populations, university institutions and others.
“There was an overwhelming response from interested community groups across the state, and we were extremely pleased with the quality of the proposals submitted by an array of community organizations,” said Olga Rodriguez, chief of staff and associate vice president of Texas A&M Health. “These grants will make a huge difference in addressing vaccine hesitancy in Texas.”
Priority was given to applicants focusing on outreach to rural communities, Texans with disabilities and communities of color. Grantees’ outreach efforts will cover 70% of the state with programs in 179 of the 254 counties in Texas.
DSHS will receive additional funding for this program with plans to open a second round of grant applications in early 2022. To learn more about the grant program and view a comprehensive list of all grantees, please visit https://health.tamu.edu/vaccinegrant/round-1.html.