Close-up of coronavirus vaccination
(Credit: Johner Images / Getty Images)

LeadingAge will distribute more than $250,000 in grants to help its members host COVID-19 vaccination clinics to increase vaccination uptake among staff members, residents, family and community members.

The grants are being made available through a partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services’ We Can Do This public education campaign. Senior living, affordable housing, nursing home, home health care, hospice and other providers are eligible for the grants.

“Even as the COVID public health emergency nears its end, aging services providers remain committed to protecting the health and safety of the people they care for and serve,” LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan said in a statement. “Our members have been putting grant money to good use nationwide in myriad ways, from conducting vaccination clinics and hosting community-wide educational seminars, to purchasing advertisements for vaccine-focused marketing campaigns.”

LeadingAge said it supports updated COVID vaccines to restore protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death that may have waned over time. Provider applicants each can request up to $15,000 to support vaccine clinic activity in their communities. 

A LeadingAge spokeswoman told McKnight’s Senior Living that the association will review the applications and make awards based on high-priority locations (as determined by HHS) and the percentage of residents and staff members already up to date on vaccinations. Funds must be used by communities by June 1.

The partnership is the latest in a series of initiatives undertaken in collaboration with the White House to protect older adults and caregivers from the virus, beginning with rollout of the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care in 2020 to bring vaccine clinics to providers. 

In December, LeadingAge launched the All Hands on Deck campaign to support the White House’s COVID-19 Winter Preparedness Plan to increase long-term care residents’ uptake of updated COVID vaccines.

The association also partnered with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Equity and Awareness Program to raise awareness and access to vaccines in older adults. In late 2021, LeadingAge awarded 42 grants at $10,000 each to members for vaccine education and uptake. In Phase 2, members in Maryland, Florida and Georgia each received $20,000 grants in October, followed by $20,000 grants awarded to members in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area in December. 

More recently, the association partnered with HHS and the US Department of Housing & Urban Development to create a portal, open to all aging services providers, for access free COVID-19 test kits.