National Council on Aging Launches Coordinated Effort to Promote COVID and Flu Vaccinations
$50 million federal grant will fund local vaccine clinics and national awareness campaign
ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the national voice for every person’s right to age well, has received a $50 million grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, to implement a nationwide campaign to ensure older adults and people with disabilities get the latest COVID and flu vaccines.
The grant is the largest in NCOA’s history and comes at a pivotal moment as older adults and people with disabilities face the continuing threat of COVID and the winter flu season, with masks and social distancing far less prevalent. Today, nearly nine in 10 deaths from COVID are among people 65 and over, and 70-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths occur in older adults, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“There’s no time to waste in ensuring everyone gets these lifesaving vaccines,” said Ramsey Alwin, NCOA president and CEO. “We are enlisting our national network of senior centers and community-based organizations to make it as easy as possible for older adults and people with disabilities to get their shots and protect their health.”
Research shows COVID vaccine uptake has slowed among older adults. While 71% received the first recommended booster, only 44% have received the second one, the CDC reports. A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 43% of people 65 and over were “not sure” or responded “no” when asked if the booster dose was for them.
Under the grant, NCOA will provide funding and technical assistance to hundreds of diverse community-based organizations, enabling them to conduct tailored outreach, host vaccine clinics, and offer services many older adults need to get vaccinated, such as transportation and assistance in scheduling appointments. Interested organizations can learn more about the competitive grant opportunity at https://www.ncoa.org/page/covid-19-and-influenza-vaccine-uptake-initiative.
NCOA also will launch a national awareness campaign to educate older adults about the vaccines and dispel misinformation. Culturally sensitive approaches will target populations most at risk, including people of color, those who are homebound or living in rural areas, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
“Our local partners in the aging network are trusted messengers in their communities,” Alwin said. “We will work in partnership with them to ensure all have access to these important vaccines.”
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. We believe that how we age should not be determined by gender, color, sexuality, income, or ZIP code. Working with thousands of national and local partners, we provide resources, tools, best practices, and advocacy to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Founded in 1950, we are the oldest national organization focused on older adults. Learn more at www.ncoa.org and @NCOAging.
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SOURCE National Council on Aging