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"Your Shot Texas" Boosts Vaccinations with Nonprofit Grant Money

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021   

AUSTIN, Texas -- "Your Shot Texas" is set to give additional nonprofit, community-based organizations money for programs that increase access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The statewide philanthropic effort has already invested more than $400,000 in 12 organizations to battle hesitancy, and make sure communities hit hardest can get vaccinated.

Lisa Reeve, director of the area agency on aging for the Ark-Tex Council of Governments, said her group used grant money to create a brochure and hire an outreach worker to contact unvaccinated populations, especially seniors who are homebound.

"None of the seniors knew how to navigate a computer and set an appointment," Reeve recounted. "And we've got that on our brochure, letting them know that we'll be able to assist anybody that needs help."

Reeve pointed out her group is mostly helping seniors in their nine-county area, but can help anyone who still needs a shot. Local organizations that want to initiate their own program have until August 6 to apply for funds through "Your Shot Texas."

In recent days, the Delta variant has pushed the COVID-19 positivity rate to 10% in Texas, compared with less than 3% a month ago.

Brian Sasser, chief communications officer for the Episcopal Health Foundation, said in addition to seniors and those living in rural areas, grants prioritize the Black, Hispanic/Latino and other populations most affected during the pandemic.

He added groups receiving the money have a deep connection to their community.

"They know the people who they work with, they know their needs, what's holding people back from getting vaccines," Sasser explained. "Those are the best people to kind of convince those on the fence."

In addition to the Episcopal Health Foundation, San Antonio's Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc., and the Meadows Foundation in Dallas have pooled funds to fill the gap and support outreach efforts and activities that may not qualify for public resources.

Disclosure: Episcopal Health Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Mental Health, Philanthropy, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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