ATLANTA — Nearly half of all counties in the U.S. have vaccinated fewer than 10 percent of their 5- to 11-year-olds against COVID-19. Focusing on four Southern states, three organizations have partnered to change the narrative for this vulnerable age group.
The Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP), Fair Count, and the Levi Strauss Foundation are awarding more than $26,000 to nine organizations to increase COVID-19 immunization rates among children aged 5 to 17 in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina.
“An equitable democracy demands an equitable recovery, and a just society demands a concerted effort to protect the most vulnerable among us,” said Fair Count President Dr. Jeanine Abrams McLean. “We are deeply grateful for the work of allies and partners that share that dedication to equity as we emerge from the chaos and disruption of COVID-19.”
Children aged 5 to 17 were hospitalized at a rate of 3 per 100,000 in January, according to the Pandemic to Prosperity report.
“Protecting our children through vaccines helps protect all of us from COVID-19,” said Sarah Beth Gehl, SEAP’s Executive Director. “We are excited to support these fantastic organizations who are working hard to break down barriers that prevent communities from accessing the vaccine, particularly those commonly underserved and neglected.”
Organizations across the selected Southern states are stepping up to the plate to help dismantle obstacles to vaccine access and information. These awardees are committed to hosting vaccine outreach events this spring:
- Alabama Institute for Social Justice
- Alabama Latino AIDS Coalition-AIDS Alabama
- Angel Guardian
- Cambodian Cultural Center of NC
- Centro Unido Latino Americano
- Families First in Cabarrus County, Inc.
- South Tifton Learning Center, Inc.
- The Black Table Fund
- We Must Vote, LLC
Families First in Cabarrus County, Inc., of North Carolina plans to use the funds to educate and vaccinate more members of the Hispanic community. This organization, a previous SEAP grantee, helped fully vaccinate more than 200 Hispanic parents. Now, their sights are set on doing the same for children.
When asked how these new funds will help, the organization responded:
“We operate two nonprofit Immersion preschools and a home visiting program, reaching hundreds of immigrant households weekly – many isolated from the community. Our preschools have not closed/quarantined like many others, and our immigrant population attributes this to vaccinations, nor have their spouses missed work due to getting sick. For these reasons, we are uniquely positioned, with the help of [these funds], to provide the same education and incentives for child vaccinations. This targeted population trusts us after eight years of home-visiting, partnering, and investing in their children, neighborhoods, and livelihoods.”
About the Southern Economic Advancement Project
The Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) is your partner and resource. SEAP amplifies existing organizations and networks’ efforts to broaden economic power and build a more equitable future. Broadening economic power brings attention to how race, class, and gender intersect social and economic policy in the South. SEAP explores policy ideas designed to address these connections directly. SEAP focuses on 12 Southern states and marginalized and vulnerable populations.
About Fair Count
Founded in 2019 and anchored in Georgia, Fair Count is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to build long-term power in communities that have been historically undercounted in the decennial census, underrepresented at the polls, and whose communities are often torn apart in redistricting.