Vaccine Equity

Concerned that America was ill-prepared and ill-equipped to deliver any of the COVID-19 vaccines to Black communities, Black leaders announced the creation of a task force in New York to both ensure the vaccine is readily accessible to Black New Yorkers and address concerns in Black communities about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Task Force for Vaccine Equity and Education was formally announced through a media release, and named Marc Morial of the National Urban League, Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, and Sen. Nina Turner as co-chairs. The mission of the Task Force for Vaccine Equity and Education, which focuses on Black community, is to work with and help operationalize an internal government task force, the Governor’s Vaccine Equity Task Force, which has a broader mandate that includes Latinx, Asian and poor communities. On July 27, 2021, the State of New York announced the allocation of $15 million to promote vaccination in communities across the state that were hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) received a portion of this funding to support vaccine education outreach among underrepresented populations, specifically persons of the African Diaspora across New York State. NYDIS was awarded a vaccine equity and outreach grant by FPWA to support faith and community-based efforts across the five boroughs of New York City to assess, create and disseminate information that promote vaccine confidence and uptake among vaccine eligible individuals in communities of color, particularly Black communities. Between October 2021 and January 2022, NYDIS will undertake outreach and engagement activities to effectively listen to community concerns and address misinformation to promote uptake and reduce access barriers that leave Black New Yorkers vulnerable to the life-threatening impact of COVID-19.