Date: July 20, 2021
New $40 million CalVaxGrant program will increase access and bring more vaccines into doctors' offices
Partnerships with 480 Community-Based Organizations will continue through 2021 to fight disinformation and encourage vaccinations
SACRAMENTO – With nearly 77 percent of California adults at least partially vaccinated, and more than 74 percent of those aged 12+ having received at least one dose, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will continue work in partnership with local health officials and community organizations across the state to fight disinformation, spur demand for COVID-19 vaccinations and focus on equity as some communities contend with rising levels of illness among the unvaccinated. Vaccines remain the best protection against COVID-19, including the highly infectious Delta variant.
Unvaccinated Californians are not only at much higher risk of getting COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated, they are also far more likely to suffer severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
"COVID-19 remains a very real threat to those who are unvaccinated. It is imperative that we fight the disinformation that is leading Californians to be skeptical of this life-saving tool we now have. Californians must take action to protect themselves and those in our communities who cannot get vaccinated, including children under age 12," said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. "COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe, and our best tool in stopping the spread and mutation of variants."
CDPH is continuing its focus on vaccinating the remaining population and maintaining vaccine accessibility through data-driven approaches that prioritize communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. As the communication and outreach efforts become more targeted, ZIP codes with low rates of vaccination and communities experiencing outbreaks will drive efforts through public education, provider programs and community events.
With the great gains the state has made in equitably vaccinating eligible Californians and access to an abundant supply of COVID-19 vaccines, the state's third-party administrator has transitioned from facilitating vaccine operations to now serving in an advisory role. To continue supporting providers, CDPH has launched a $40 million CalVaxGrant program to bring more vaccines into doctors' offices, giving physicians financial resources to safely store and dispense COVID-19 vaccinations.
The CalVaxGrant is intended to increase access in hard to reach communities by partially reimbursing small physician practices up to $55,000 to set up their offices as small, community-based vaccination sites. The funding will help offset expenses, including staffing, training, technology, infrastructure, supplies and equipment, and administrative overhead. Small practice providers with up to 200 physicians are eligible to apply. For more information, visit the Physicians for a Healthy California CalVaxGrant web page.
Partnerships with approximately 480 community-based organizations (CBOs) will be extended and expanded upon through the end of the year to continue their critical work in connecting one-on-one with unvaccinated Californians and continuing to provide information, direct appointment assistance and appointment referrals. CBOs are critical to reaching the most vulnerable communities, including those in low-broadband areas. As trusted messengers, these organizations are key in addressing mis- and dis-information, which can vary by community. Additional CBOs that cover specific geographies and conduct outreach with populations that are hard to reach and move are being identified to join the state-funded CBO network. The "Get Out the Vaccine" (GOTV) door-knocking and phone banking program through the Government Operations Agency will continue to operate in key areas of the state through October. The combined efforts by CBOs and the state's GOTV program have resulted in over 8 million Californians reached through phone calls and canvassing, and more than 875,000 vaccination appointments and appointment referrals.
Californians who have not been vaccinated yet are encouraged to go to myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 to schedule their appointment or go to myturn.ca.gov/clinic to find a walk-in clinic in their county. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccines, visit VaccinateALL58.com.