The grant will be used to establish an outreach program to provide education, as well as COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, to a wide array of community members in southern New Jersey. It will also be used to fund and train a team of social workers and community health workers to connect with various segments of the population throughout Camden and Gloucester counties and provide education and needed vaccinations.
Although New Jersey has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the nation, there are still communities and subpopulations where rates remain under 70%.
Only 53.2% of residents of Gloucester County and 50.4% of residents of Camden County have received a booster shot.
The grant will fund education and vaccinations for more than a dozen communities in Camden and Gloucester counties. Specific areas of attention will include children ages 5 and up; women who are planning to become pregnant, are pregnant or are breastfeeding; people with intellectual or developmental disabilities; and homebound community members.
“Jefferson Health – New Jersey is proud to lead outreach efforts to engage vulnerable, undervaccinated communities in Camden and Gloucester counties,” Amanda Kimmel, vice president of ambulatory operations for the Jefferson Medical Group in New Jersey, said. “By ensuring equitable access to vaccines, we can help to lessen the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic for underserved populations, and prevent widening disparities while achieving broader population immunity.”
Jefferson Health said it anticipates administering some 1,340 vaccines at hospital-based sites, outpatient locations and “pop-up” clinics. As the program expands, it is expected that flu shots will also be provided.