Last week the Biden Administration announced the release of $250 million through the HHS Office of Minority Health for initiatives to promote vaccinations to minority and other underserved populations.
The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) will offer the funding as health literacy grants to localities, who will partner with community-based organizations. The effort called, Advancing Health Literacy to Enhance Equitable Community Responses to COVID-19 should be able to fund 30 projects in urban communities and 43 projects in rural communities for two years.
The grantees will have to develop a disparity impact statement and use local data to identify racial and ethnic minority populations at the highest risk for health disparities, low health literacy, and not being engaged or reached through existing public health messages and approaches for promoting COVID-19 public health recommendations.
Racial and ethnic minority populations experience higher rates of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths related to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Social determinants of health, such as housing, education, and work conditions, contribute to these disparities. Underlying chronic conditions, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and obesity, are more prevalent among minority populations and increase the risk of severe COVID-19 illness. The Office of Minority Health (OMH) will be accepting applications for this new initiative through April 20, 2021. For more information about the Office of Minority Health and the project, go to www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov.