New grant from the Walmart Foundation

To promote COVID-19 vaccine equity and address vaccine hesitancy among American Indians and Alaska Natives

Theme(s):
COVID-19 Response

The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation throught the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity to promote COVID-19 vaccine equity and address vaccine hesitancy among rural and urban-based Native Americans.

The goal of the project is to promote vaccine equity among Native Americans, who have experienced the most profound COVID-19 disparities in the US. This will be achieved by working intensively with our National Tribal Advisory Board and allied agencies, including NCAI, NIHB, NCUIH, AAIP, and IHS, to build and scale communication tools, policy guidance and other solutions.

Goals will be achieved through three primary activities: 

  • Create and distribute a suite of culturally congruent and inspired health communication materials segmented for diverse subgroups of AI/AN populations, based on formative understanding of facilitators and barriers to vaccine uptake. 
  • Design and communicate solutions to overcome structural barriers to vaccination (i.e., transportation, long wait times, confusion or technological barriers to getting an on online appointment).
  • Continuously monitor local data to advocate for and prioritize available vaccines to optimally protect local populations. 

To increase our national impact, we will: 

  • Partner with allied agencies to amplify dissemination of communication and policy-related efforts. 
  • Continuously upload new communication materials and templates for tribal communities to adapt on the JHCAIH website, which has become a popular and trusted resource of tools and information during the pandemic. We will work with digital influencers to advertise the availability of these materials. 
  • Hold national Town Halls featuring panel discussions with trustworthy nationally known AI/AN thought leaders that are streamed through Facebook and other popular communication channels for AI/AN peoples. 
  • Hold webinars for health care work forces serving tribal communities to provide up-to-date information about common and community-specific barriers that tribal community members are experiencing to getting vaccine, and tools and resources to help promote vaccination among those who are hesitant.
  • Continuously monitor data and policies to advocate for and prioritize vaccines in such a way to optimally protect AI/AN populations.


All of these strategies build on scientific evidence for effective mass media campaigns; from solutions and practices that have succeeded in promoting COVID-19 diagnostic testing; and, JHCAIH’s experience scaling successful interventions from primary tribal partners to tribal communities across the nation.

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