$ 5 Million DHEC COVID Vaccine Awareness Grant

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DHEC plans to award up to 25 grants totaling up to $ 5,000,000 for six months.

COLUMBIA, SC – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is providing additional funding through federal funds to help with local immunization efforts.

Nick Davidson, the senior public health assistant, said he was proud of everything the department has done to help spread the word so far.

“We had to go big with that. To vaccinate so many people, we had to use mass clinics and that sort of thing, ”Davidson said. “As we get closer and closer to immunizing the majority of our population, it gets harder and harder to get the message out, that last mile. “

Now DHEC is focusing on vaccination efforts at the local level. The agency is looking for local organizations to partner with to make a difference. This is a $ 5 million financial assistance program.

“People hear from the ones they trust the most and often it’s the local vendors, local organizations that are in their hometowns that they’re used to hearing from,” Davidson said.

Grants will focus on a variety of initiatives, including distribution of DHEC information materials, secure in-person or virtual educational sessions, transportation to vaccination sites, placement of social media posts and other advertising messages, and ‘use of other non-standard sensitization methods.

“The number of organizations receiving funding will depend on the applications submitted; However, DHEC plans to award up to 25 grants totaling up to $ 5,000,000 for six months, ”DHEC said in a press release. “Each grant is expected to last six months and can be renewed up to three times for a total period of two years. . “

Rural communities are some of the areas of concern to DHEC. With limited transport, technology and vaccine reluctance were all factors behind the decline in vaccination rates in these areas.

Any organization can apply to be part of this program. They must have experience in communicating and sending messages to local communities. Organizations such as nonprofits, community providers, local and federal health care centers are among those qualified.

“It’s absolutely a way to research local communities so that they can look to their trusted local vendors and entities for some of these additional education messages and stuff,” Davidson said. “Ultimately, to get more people vaccinated. “

DHEC accepts applications until August 5. You can apply here.

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