Faith & Vaccines Launched to Support COVID-19 Vaccination Access and Uptake

This week marked the formal launch of Faith & Vaccines, our new initiative which partners with faith-based organizations to support equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to communities that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 28, the Islamic Center of Maryland in Gaithersburg, Maryland hosted our first pop-up COVID-19 vaccination event during which 101 people received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. We are thrilled to be helping to make this happen!

The COVID-19 pandemic has had tragic and disproportionately adverse effects on disadvantaged minority communities across the United States. Lower rates of vaccination in many underserved communities is, in part, fueled by lack of trust and confidence in health systems. We believe faith-based organizations can be especially effective vehicles for encouraging vaccine uptake by educating members of their communities about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination and hosting vaccination events for members of their community.

Led by RESOLVE partner Dr. Tasnuva Khan (Pharm. D.), Faith & Vaccines works with faith-based organizations to improve vaccine access and uptake among underserved communities. The initiative brings together the partners needed to quickly and efficiently organize and implement local vaccination events. This includes collaborating with vaccine suppliers and pharmacies, rallying local healthcare professionals to provide vaccination services, and engaging local faith-based organizations to host vaccination events.

In Maryland, Faith & Vaccines is working in partnership with the U.S. Army Maryland National Guard’s Vaccine Equity Task Force (VETF) to break down barriers, expand access, and save lives in underserved and hard to reach areas. Our inaugural vaccination event at the Islamic Center of Maryland exceeded expectations, with demand for the vaccine demonstrating the need for hosting other similar vaccination events.

We are already working on plans to expand this initiative by partnering with various faith-based organizations in Maryland and in other states across the countries. Let us know if you are a member of a faith community that may be interested in hosting a similar vaccination event or if you are interested in helping support this work. Together, we can help ensure as many people as possible have access to the COVID-19 vaccine!

Beth Weaver
April 2, 2021

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