For 2023, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) plans a national awareness campaign to educate older adults and people with disabilities about COVID and flu vaccines while dispelling misinformation about the shots. NCOA says it will use culturally sensitive approaches to target populations most at risk, including people of color, those who are homebound or living in rural areas, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
Earlier this month, NCOA received a $50 million grant from the federal government’s Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL) to be used to reach those at-risk populations.
For now, though, “our focus is on distributing the funding to senior centers, community centers, and local community- and faith-based organizations to address the urgent and critical need to ensure that all older adults and people with disabilities stay up-to-date and have access to COVID-19 and flu vaccinations as we head into winter,” Karen Davis, NCOA’s chief development and marketing officer, tells Marketing Daily.
NCOA says its funding and technical assistance will go to hundreds of community-based organizations, enabling them to conduct tailored outreach, host vaccine clinics, and offer such services as transportation and assistance in scheduling appointments.
Another nonprofit, USAging (formerlyn4A), also received a grant from ACL. it’s for $75 million, with the funds to be used for similar purposes at centers for independent living, area agencies on aging, state No Wrong Door systems, aging and disability resource centers, and other organizations.
The two nonprofits will coordinate to avoid any possible duplication of efforts, ACL said.
The Centers for Disease Control reported recently that while 71% of U.S. seniors had gotten the first recommended COVID booster, only 44% have gotten the second one. The CDC also notes that nine in 10 deaths from COVID are among people 65 and over, and 70-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths occur in older adults.
USAging adds that only 15% of older Americans have received a flu shot this year, “and the numbers are comparable for people with disabilities.”
The nonprofit NCOA, founded in 1950, boasts that it’s the oldest national organization focused on older adults. The better-known AARP was founded in 1958. USAging says it’s been around for nearly 50 years.