Majority of federal funding being used to expand access to coronavirus vaccines for Alabama's minority communities

Roughly $33 million has to go to specific programs and initiatives designed to expand vaccine access and acceptance among minorities.

Posted: Apr 6, 2021 5:43 PM
Updated: Apr 6, 2021 5:52 PM

On Tuesday, the CDC awarded Alabama more than $44 million to expand coronavirus vaccine programs. It's part of $3 billion set aside to improve vaccine distribution, access and equity.

A significant portion must go to county health departments and community-based organizations, and 75%, which comes to roughly $33 million, has to go to specific programs and initiatives designed to expand vaccine access and acceptance among minorities.

It's a big victory for groups that have been working to expand vaccine accessibility in these communities for months.

"This isn't about 'I'm afraid, I'm hesitant, I don't want to take a vaccine.' Our community's ready to take a vaccine, and we are ready to do our part," Tiffany Whitlow, the co-founder of Acclinate Genetics, said.

Aside from co-founding the Huntsville-based group, Acclinate Genetics, Whitlow also helped launch the #nowincluded initiative, which gives the Black community access to information about the health care industry. She said hearing that so much of the state's funding from the CDC will be used to give minority communities access to the vaccine was a sigh of relief.

"Obviously, all of this work takes resources, so to know that there are intentional resources being allocated to support organizations like ours, UAB and so many other partners at a state level, it honestly just provides just an extra sense of hope," she said.

As of March, only about 14% of African Americans in Alabama had received their first dose of the vaccine, yet, they make up almost 27% of the overall population in the state.

Statistics like these are why members of Whitlow's organization weren't the only ones happy to hear about the state's initiative. State NAACP president Benard Simelton said educating African American communities about the vaccine itself and where to get the vaccine has been a top priority, especially since many still have questions on how they can receive one.

"The biggest thing that I hear is 'where do I go? How do I sign up for the vaccine?'" Simelton said.

Simelton said giving the vulnerable communities access and education when it comes to the vaccine can be life-saving.

"We want everyone to be able to live a long, healthy life and not have a life cut short because of not having the vaccine," he said.

When compared to the rest of the country, Alabama is actually 9th when it comes to vaccinating the most vulnerable populations, and having more funding dedicated to this is expected to help.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522131

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754831494
Mobile39111799
Madison34084500
Tuscaloosa25396444
Montgomery24037573
Shelby23210242
Baldwin20714302
Lee15614166
Calhoun14350311
Morgan14164273
Etowah13696348
Marshall12007220
Houston10408279
Elmore10018203
Limestone9858148
Cullman9507191
St. Clair9478236
Lauderdale9271233
DeKalb8760183
Talladega8122173
Walker7146276
Autauga6760106
Jackson6760110
Blount6529133
Colbert6234132
Coffee5431113
Dale4779111
Russell430939
Franklin420982
Chilton4114110
Covington4068115
Tallapoosa3915148
Escambia390374
Dallas3525150
Chambers3516122
Clarke347260
Marion3072100
Pike306576
Lawrence296295
Winston273272
Bibb256361
Marengo248461
Geneva246275
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213168
Fayette209460
Henry188144
Cherokee182744
Randolph177241
Monroe172740
Washington165338
Macon156148
Clay150155
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne146741
Lamar139734
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock121940
Conecuh109528
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 830484

Reported Deaths: 12049
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby927281585
Davidson87309923
Knox49411623
Hamilton43254481
Rutherford41816420
Williamson27237214
Sumner23155339
Montgomery19075224
Wilson17979224
Out of TN1794598
Unassigned16655134
Sullivan16096287
Blount14963194
Bradley14518147
Washington14129242
Sevier13116174
Maury13021168
Putnam11155173
Madison10771240
Robertson9567127
Anderson8599171
Hamblen8478170
Greene7715152
Tipton7216102
Coffee6824121
Dickson6724109
Cumberland6555127
Carter6443156
Bedford6409127
Gibson6387144
McMinn634295
Roane6174102
Jefferson6061121
Loudon601169
Lawrence578686
Hawkins5766106
Monroe570295
Warren550881
Dyer5357104
Franklin508388
Fayette490377
Obion449996
Cocke442998
Cheatham442254
Rhea430375
Lincoln429563
Marshall410358
Campbell408462
Weakley401962
Giles393998
Henderson372475
Macon357376
Carroll357182
White353968
Hardin349166
Hardeman345863
Lauderdale314244
Henry311875
Marion308346
Claiborne305573
Scott305145
Overton296360
Wayne294234
Hickman279645
McNairy276754
DeKalb274953
Smith273938
Haywood268161
Grainger258449
Trousdale248722
Morgan245539
Fentress238046
Johnson230238
Bledsoe209411
Chester209351
Crockett200948
Polk199024
Unicoi194149
Cannon188831
Union185634
Grundy177232
Humphreys173621
Lake169526
Sequatchie166428
Benton162940
Decatur157338
Lewis155726
Meigs134123
Stewart130028
Jackson129635
Clay109031
Houston108333
Perry105728
Moore99717
Van Buren83421
Pickett75624
Hancock54712

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