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US earmarks $29mln for communities with elevated COVID-19 risk – Health Dept

Washingtoon: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) will receive $29 million in new grants for research targeting COVID-19 vaccine confidence and access, as well as outreach to communities hard hit by the pandemic, the agency said.

“The awards will provide $15 million to 11 teams already conducting research and outreach to help strengthen COVID-19 vaccine confidence and access, as well as testing and treatment, in communities of color. An additional $14 million will fund 10 new research teams to extend the reach of COVID-19 community-engaged research and outreach,” NIH said in a press release on Thursday.

Throughout 2021, CEAL researchers will tap community leaders, trusted organizations, and experts familiar to their communities, including NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) testing centers, state health departments, and certified diabetes educators and community health workers, the release added.

The new funding provided by the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan adds to $17 million in CEAL grants in 2020 that also targeted Americans at risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes, primarily in minority communities, according to the release.

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