The newest program to Broward Regional Health Planning Council is the Community Based Workforce for COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Program. This collaborative program engages three (3) community partners; mobilizes community health workers and medical professionals to educate; assists individuals in getting the vaccine; addresses COVID-19 related health disparities and advances health equity.
The COVID-19 viral mutation, Omicron, became a real game-changer with significant impacts escalating throughout the state of Florida at a time we thought cases of the Delta variant were decreasing. Unfortunately, the more highly transmissible Omicron variant skyrocketed significantly within unvaccinated populations resulting in severe illness, increasing hospitalizations, and increasing deaths.
Community Health Workers (CHWs) mobilized countywide to educate, reduce barriers, build vaccine confidence, and support vaccine access to communities facing greatest challenges. CHWs readily identified three (3) top reasons for vaccine hesitancy as (1) medical mistrust; (2) credibility, conflicting information, and misinformation; and (3) lack of awareness and inconsistent messaging. CHWs identified key subpopulations experiencing high levels of vaccine hesitancy and the greatest challenges and needs. A highly diverse, knowledgeable, trustworthy, and relevant workforce deployed and implemented the best strategies to address vaccine hesitancy, as well as, assisted with vaccine access during the initial roll-out over 20 days in January 2022.
Broward Regional Health Planning Council commends this highly specialized workforce from Holy Cross Health, Memorial Healthcare System and Mount Olive Development Corporation for a successful launch and outstanding outcomes for January 2022. Nine hundred eighty (980) outreach education interactions resulted in five hundred five (505) vaccine completions.
For more information, support, and assistance with community resources available to support vaccine access, contact our staff below.