Jun 29, 2021 - News
Northwest Arkansas lands $4 million grant to target vaccine hesitant populations
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A $4 million federal grant will go toward COVID-19-related communication, Pearl McElfish, vice chancellor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest Regional Campus, tells Axios.

What's happening: UAMS Northwest, the Northwest Arkansas Council’s Health Care Transformation Division, Benton County and Washington County will collaboratively use the money to better reach Marshallese, Latino and rural communities in Northwest Arkansas with information on the COVID-19 vaccines.

  • The money can go toward things like billboards and other advertisements in Spanish and Marshallese.
  • UAMS is also looking to contract with four to eight community organizations that have ties with the Marshallese and Latino communities to conduct more outreach.

Why it matters: The state is lagging behind the rest of the country in vaccination rates with 41.7% of the population having received at least one dose, according to the CDC.

  • That's the seventh-lowest rate in the country.
  • NWA is seeing an uptick in cases, largely because of the spread of the Delta variant, McElfish says.

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