DHEC launches $5 million grant assistance program to fund vaccine awareness

South Carolina News

FILE

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced the agency is accepting grant applications from organizations to help expand awareness and information about the COVID-19 vaccines and help increase vaccination rates in South Carolina.

Their goal is to vaccinate as many eligible South Carolinians as possible and help end the pandemic.

DHEC has launched an innovative grant assistance program to fund hyperlocal outreach efforts. DHEC will provide grants to applicants with the funding it received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

DHEC is accepting applications Friday through Aug. 5, 2021. Details are available in the Request for Grant Assistance that’s available online here.  

“DHEC and key partners across the state have done a yeoman’s job sharing essential COVID-19 information and working together to combat misinformation that leads to confusion and, in turn, hesitancy about the vaccines among South Carolinians,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Public Health Director. “South Carolina is taking advantage of this federal funding to help ensure people in rural areas and minority or vulnerable communities receive the information they need to make informed decisions about vaccines from people they know and trust. Information sharing is more important than ever since South Carolina, and several other states, are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.” 

The grant recipients’ initiatives will include the following:

  • distributing DHEC informational materials
  • conducting safe in-person or virtual educational sessions with community members  
  • placing social media and other media advertising messages on channels designed to reach focused populations
  • utilizing non-traditional outreach methods (informational signs at intersections, point-of-sale advertising, direct mailers, grassroots outreach, etc.)
  • providing transportation to people who want to get vaccinated  

DHEC anticipates awarding up to 25 grants totaling up to $5,000,000 for six months. Each award is expected to last for six months and can be renewed up to three times for a total period of two years.

“We have said many times that DHEC can’t end this pandemic alone,” said Dr. Traxler.

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