November 18, 2021


Kathy Melley, Community Catalyst, (617) 791-0708/

Ed Walz, Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition, (202) 374-8872/

(Boston, MA) –Community Catalyst today announced a partnership with Young Invincibles (YI), LeadingAge and the Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition (PIF) as part of its Vaccine Equity and Access Program (VEAP) to increase COVID-19 and influenza vaccine confidence and access among young adults, older adults and immigrant communities. The three national organizations join Community Catalyst and 90 community-based organizations working with communities of color to expand the impact of VEAP, a $15.5 million program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to enhance vaccine education through community outreach and community-provider coalitions.

Vaccine uptake among adults has slowed considerably due to a decrease in deaths and hospitalizations across the country as highlighted in the latest data from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, and gaps in rates remain among key populations. Older adults in states with low vaccination rates continue to be hardest hit by the pandemic. Additionally, many people in immigrant communities are unaware that getting the COVID-19 vaccine has no impact on their immigration status or future immigration applications. Young adults ages 18-29 continue to have low confidence in the vaccine as shown in a recent Young Invincibles’ listening tour report.

“Vaccination is key to protecting our communities from COVID-19 and the flu, but long-standing systemic health, economic and social inequities have widened the gap in adult vaccination rates especially for Black, Indigenous and people of color. We know that when all community members have access to life-saving interventions like vaccines, we all thrive,” said Sheree H. Keitt, program director, Vaccine Equity and Access Program at Community Catalyst. “This initiative is key to dispelling myths and misinformation, and we are grateful to work with partners that are trusted voices with immigrants, older individuals and young adults.”

“We can’t end the pandemic and secure our health and our economy if millions in immigrant families remain afraid that COVID-19 vaccination will put their families at risk,” said Eddie Carmona, director of the Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition. “Effectively communicating to immigrant families that they can safely get the vaccine and any COVID care is essential for the nation’s recovery. And with immigrant families and other families of color already hit hardest by COVID-19, lowering vaccination barriers for immigrant families isn’t just about public health, it’s about justice.”

“For more than a decade, Young Invincibles has empowered young adults to raise their voices about equitable access to health care. Now, we find ourselves in the midst of the largest public health crisis of our time and it will not end without centering young adults. Young adults face more barriers to accessing the vaccine and accurate health information than other age groups,” said Kristin McGuire, executive director of Young Invincibles. “We are determined to organize friends, educate our peers, and reach our communities to close the vaccination gaps among young adults once and for all.”

“Flu vaccines have long been a critical tool for long-term care providers—and the COVID vaccine has been the most important development of the pandemic. LeadingAge is committed to increasing vaccination rates using every available resource, which is why we are pleased to partner with Community Catalyst on the Vaccine Access and Equity Program,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services. “Our mission-driven members are working hard to ensure that everyone who needs a vaccine can get one — particularly people in communities of color, who have been disproportionately impacted throughout the pandemic. This initiative brings us one step closer to achieving this goal.” 

Through the partnership, VEAP will work with 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. 

For more information about the Vaccine Access and Equity 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

About Young Invincibles (YI): Young Invincibles (YI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for 18-34 year old and amplifying their voices in the political process. YI is deeply committed to health equity, and has been embarking upon a targeted COVID-19 vaccine outreach and education campaign in an effort to ensure young adults — particularly young adults of color — have access to critical and trusted information about the vaccine so that every young person can make the best decision for themselves.

About LeadingAge: LeadingAge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that represents more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-minded organizations that touch millions of lives every day. LeadingAge’s members are providers of aging services in a variety of settings such as skilled nursing, assisted living, affordable senior housing, hospice, home health, PACE and adult day service providers.