SD Voices for Peace Awarded $100,000 in CDC Funds to Increase Adult COVID-19 and Flu Vaccination Rates
Education and outreach work will address vaccine inequities and advance health equity
(Sioux Falls, SD) — As one of 75 organizations nationwide, South Dakota Voices for Peace has been awarded $100,000 to fund outreach and education efforts focused specifically on building vaccine confidence among multilingual immigrant, refugee, and undocumented adults throughout eastern South Dakota. Made possible with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in partnership with Community Catalyst, the project aims to increase understanding of and trust about COVID-19 and influenza vaccines among adults at highest risk of infection and death from these illnesses.
The initiative comes amid a concerning rise in cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant and significant disparities in vaccination rates in historically underserved communities of color.
“Vaccinating rural multilingual immigrant, refugee and undocumented communities in South Dakota is critical in protecting the entire state from COVID-19 and the flu," emphasized Taneeza Islam, Executive Director. "SD Voices for Peace is grateful to the CDC and the Biden Administration’s recognition that CBOs (Community Building Organizations) are critical in reaching historically excluded communities who are severely impacted by racial disparities in the health care system."
Because South Dakota is an English-only state, multilingual communities in South Dakota are at a severe disadvantage to access critical information. SD Voices for Peace was one of the first organizations in the state to rapidly translate constantly changing local COVID-19 information, the only CBO to create an Emergency Relief Fund and distribute $932,000 to 1700 immigrant-led households impacted by COVID-19, and now is shifting resources to go to where communities are with multilingual vaccine information. SD Voices for Peace’s multilingual outreach staff will build trust in communities to understand issues of vaccine hesitancy and vaccine access, with the goal to get vaccines to where communities are.
SD Voices for Peace will work in collaboration with multilingual community leaders and other CBOs focusing on Black, Indigenous, and people of color’s (BIPOC) access to the vaccine.