August 4, 2021


Lucy Dagneau, 860-966-2845

(BOSTON, MA) – Community Catalyst today launched the Vaccine Equity and Access Program, awarding $7.5 million in grants to 75 community-based organizations working with communities of color to address health equity and racial and ethnic disparities in adult COVID-19 and influenza vaccination rates. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national program aims to increase vaccine confidence through community outreach and community-provider coalitions.

The initiative comes amid a concerning rise in COVID-19 from the Delta variant and significant disparities in vaccination rates in historically underserved communities of color. 

“While vaccination is more urgent than ever, the same systemic racism that permeates our health system has also led to deep health inequities in vaccination rates across the country,” said Sheree Keitt, director of the Vaccine Access and Equity Program at Community Catalyst. “This initiative aims to take a big step toward closing the gap in adult vaccination rates for COVID-19 and influenza that have put too many Black and brown people at an increased risk of infection and death from these diseases.”

The Vaccine Access and Equity Program invests in community-based organizations to support COVID-19 health communication and community engagement strategies that focus on building vaccine awareness, access and confidence among the populations most harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes identifying influential community leaders to become vaccine ambassadors who can reach people where they are and serve as trusted sources of information about the vaccines. Additionally, the program will work to dispel myths about vaccination and create new vaccine access points in underserved communities. 

Community Catalyst will work in collaboration with other national partners including the CDC Foundation and the Urban Institute.

For more information about the Vaccine Equity and Access Program, click here.


About Community Catalyst: Community Catalyst is a leading non-profit national health advocacy organization dedicated to advancing a movement for health equity and justice. We partner with local, state and national advocates to leverage and build power so all people can influence decisions that affect their health. Health systems will not be accountable to people without a fully engaged and organized community voice. That’s why we work every day to ensure people’s interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and health care are made: in communities, state houses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @CommCatHealth.