USAging Announces Availability of Funds to Support Community-Based Vaccination Outreach

For Immediate Release
December 19, 2022
Contact: Joellen Leavelle, and 202.719.8890

​WASHINGTON—As the nation enters the winter season with high rates of hospitalization due to COVID-19 along with one of the worst flu seasons on record, USAging and its members are keenly aware of the need for vaccination, particularly among older adults and people with disabilities. Despite the widespread availability of COVID-19 and flu vaccines, only 36 percent of older adults have received a bivalent booster and only 15 percent have received a flu shot this year—and the numbers are comparable for people with disabilities. This is why USAging is proud to announce that it has received funding from the U.S. Administration for Community Living to launch the Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative, which will support local vaccination promotion efforts targeted to older adults and people with disabilities.

“The numbers say it all. There is a real need to ensure that older adults and people with disabilities get vaccinated,” said USAging CEO Sandy Markwood. “The pandemic has taught us that older adults and people with disabilities, particularly those from historically marginalized and underserved communities, face the highest risk of severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. Given this and the heightened flu season, the time is now to dedicate all the resources possible to reduce the barriers to vaccination that these communities have experienced. We commend the Biden Administration for recognizing this need and providing resources through this grant to the on-the-ground organizations able to support the unique vaccination needs of older adults and people with disabilities. USAging will use this funding to establish the Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative and will work with our partners to ensure that communities around the country have the additional resources they need to launch or expand efforts to encourage vaccination among older adults and people with disabilities, said Markwood.”
The Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative will distribute funding that will enable organizations across the aging and disability networks to perform an array of vaccination promotion activities. Organizations selected for funding will host community vaccine clinics, provide in-home vaccinations, provide transportation to vaccination sites, and will conduct outreach and education to older adults and people with disabilities among other activities. Local organizations, including Area Agencies on Aging, Centers for Independent Living and a broad range of aging and disability organizations, will be able to apply to receive funding through the Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative at USAging will collaborate with the National Council on Aging, which also received funding as part of this ACL initiative.
“Area Agencies on Aging, Centers for Independent Living, tribal aging programs and other aging and disability community-based organizations have the boots-on-the-ground experience that is needed to lead these efforts at the local level,” said Deborah Stone-Walls, USAging’s Chief of Programs and Services, who will be responsible for administering the Aging Network Vaccination Collaborative. “In fact, leading efforts to address health concerns has always been central to their work. With the additional funding they will receive from this initiative, these organizations will be able to dedicate even more resources to ensuring that older adults and people with disabilities stay healthy,” continued Stone-Walls.

Members of the Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative
Lead partners
  • USAging (convener)
  • ADvancing States
  • Association of University Centers on Disabilities
  • Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU)
  • American Association of Service Coordinators
  • Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living
  • Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs
  • Autism Society of America
  • Diverse Elders Coalition
  • Lutheran Services in America
  • Meals on Wheels America
  • National Adult Day Services Association
  • National Asian Pacific Center on Aging
  • National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
  • National Association of Nutrition and Aging Service Providers
  • National Caucus and Center on Black Aging
  • National Council on Independent Living
  • National Disability Rights Network
  • National Hispanic Council on Aging
  • National Indian Council on Aging
  • SAGE: Advocacy & Services for LGBTQ+ Elders
  • The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies
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USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!