Closing the Vaccination Gaps in Our Communities

Closing the Vaccination Gaps in Our Communities

Thursday, June 03, 2021, 1:00 - 2:00 PM

Open Society Institute (OSI) Baltimore was recently awarded a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to pilot strategies to close the vaccination gaps among communities of color, which have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Open Society received around $1 Million for outreach, communication, and vaccine implementation to increase access and confidence in the coronavirus vaccines. The Equity-First Vaccination Initiative’s focus is on low-income wage earners, individuals with disabilities, those suffering with mental and behavioral health, and youth (now that the vaccine has been approved by CDC for 12- to 15-year-olds). 

Join this conversation with Scott Nolen, director of the Addiction and Health Equity program at OSI-Baltimore to discuss the Equity-First Vaccination Initiative, what we currently know about vaccine decision-making, and to talk about opportunities to leverage or pool our resources to ensure that every Baltimore resident has meaningful access to empirically accurate information and vaccination plan that suits their needs. 

Jennifer White of the Horizon Foundation will present on findings from a national study on COVID vaccine decision making in communities of color including local findings from Howard County. The Horizon Foundation will also present on its support to promote local community vaccine sites with trusted partners and efforts to launch a media campaign that avoids blame, shame and pressure, that promotes taking the time to get the facts and make a choice, and that highlights “people like me who have taken the journey.”

Time is of the essence since the data and lessons learned from the OSI-Baltimore pilot initiative will help inform strategies across the country, contributing to a collective, national north star goal of ensuring at least 70 million people of color are vaccinated by July 2021.