In spite of the challenges we are facing with the pandemic, we are buoyed by encouraging news regarding COVID-19 vaccines. There are many questions about how these new vaccines will be distributed, who will get them first, and when and where they will be available.  A good place to start is the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Distribution Graphic.  Here are a couple of stops worth understanding on the roadmap to vaccine delivery:

Yesterday members of ACIP met and decided, on an interim recommendation, that long term care residents will follow the healthcare workers for the first estimated 40 million doses when they are available. Here is a link to the presentation slides.

  • WHEN & WHERE:  A phased distribution and administration approach will be informed by the availability, volume, timing, and efficacy, as well as, storage and handling requirements. Read the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations and find your jurisdiction‘s preparedness plans here.  In short- the federal government is providing guidance to jurisdictions distributing and administering locally.
  • WHY?: When enough people are vaccinated against a certain disease, the germs can’t travel as easily from person to person — and the entire community is less likely to get the disease. This concept is called community immunity, or herd immunity. Learn more here.
  • 3 W’s?:  It’s important to understand that even when we have the vaccine—we will still need to practice the 3 W’s – Watching distances, Washing hands, Wearing masks. Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19. Read and share CDC’s FAQ about COVID-19 Vaccinations.

Also share this not-to-miss website for myth-busting: Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines (available in Spanish and other languages).

HHS News and Highlights

A new portal and information hub making it easier to volunteer for clinical trials and convalescent plasma donation. (Now in particularly high demand.)

CDC’s COVID-19 One-Stop-Shop Toolkits

Videos, social media, PSAs, print resources, checklists, FAQs, and web resources for every sector or community to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Rural Faith Leaders Workshop Series: Empowering Faith Leaders to Help Persons with Substance Use Disorder

First Workshop – Tues. Dec 8, 2020, 1:00 p.m. (EST) Register here

Join the Partnership Center for this first in a series of four workshops for rural faith leaders to support individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs). Organized by the White House Office of Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), each workshop will have a specific focus to assist faith communities to be both first responders, communities of hope, and support for people and families struggling with addiction.

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW)

During 2020-2021, getting a flu vaccine is and will be more important than ever because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Visit and shre CDC’s Influenza (flu) webpage, Multi-Language Factsheets, and Spanish Communication Resources.

Awards and Grant Opportunities

OJJDP Awards More Than $221 Million To Support Juvenile Justice

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention announced awards of more than $221 million to enhance state and local juvenile justice systems; provide gang prevention and intervention services; support mentoring and reentry services for youth and families; and more. For a complete list of awards visit here.

Statewide Family Network Grant Program

SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2021 Statewide Family Network grant program to more effectively respond to the needs of children, youth, and young adults with serious emotional disturbances (SED) and their families.  Closing date: Jan. 4, 2021.

Statewide Consumer Network Grant Program

This CHMS program seeks to improve efforts to address the needs of adults with serious mental illness (SMI) by developing and/or expanding peer support services, peer leadership, and peer engagement strategies statewide. Closing date: Jan. 4, 2021.

AmeriCorps State and National Grants

Funding for programs designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funding priorities include prescription drug and opioid abuse, education, and rural intermediary organizations. Closing date:  Jan 6, 2021.

Farm to School Grant Program

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service grants to plan, establish, and/or sustain a Farm to School program that improves access to local foods in schools. Closing date: Jan. 8, 2021.

Dept. of Housing and Urban Development HOPE VI Main Street Grant Program.

Grants to small communities to assist in the renovation of an historic or traditional central business district, or “Main Street” area, by replacing unused, obsolete, commercial space in buildings with affordable housing units. Closing Date: Jan. 19, 2021.

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities
The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program makes federal funds available by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to states, U.S territories, Indian tribal governments, and local communities for pre-disaster mitigation activities. Closing date: Jan 29, 2020.

REAP Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Program
Grants for intermediary organizations to assist rural small businesses (including healthcare facilities) and agricultural producers by conducting and promoting energy audits and providing renewable energy development assistance. Closing date: Feb. 1, 2021.

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Programs Support Senior Volunteerism

The AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent Program and Senior Companion Program Expansion Sponsor Competitions seek to engage older Americans in volunteer service that fosters intergenerational relationships and provides companionship to other older adults and adults with disabilities. Closing date: Feb. 3, 2021.

Community Health Access and Rural Transformation

The Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model aims to improve health care quality and reduce Medicare and Medicaid expenditures within rural communities. The CHART Model will harness the drive, creativity, and local expertise of rural communities and leverage national resources to improve access to care, quality of care, and health outcomes for rural residents.  Closing date: Feb. 16, 2021.