COVID-19 vaccinations are dropping off in Minnesota at a time when it is still incredibly important to do all we can to protect ourselves and others from this virus. It is likely that different infrastructure will be needed to reach Governor Walz’s state vaccination goal of 70% by July 1 which is just two weeks away. The Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance works to promote CHWs and would like to highlight the value of CHWs in closing the vaccination gap for BIPOC and rural communities across the state.
In Minnesota and across the U.S., CHWs are a growing and diverse health equity workforce on the frontlines of this pandemic. As trusted members of the communities they serve, CHWs are a critical link between the underserved and complex health and social services systems. Due to their position, CHWs are a natural workforce to call upon to assist with vaccine outreach. They work in clinics, local public health, community non-profits and other community-based organizations addressing health inequities through outreach, education, care coordination and other services.
As the vaccine campaign enters its next phase, CHWs are vital community connectors in reaching vaccine-hesitant communities. To strengthen Minnesota’s COVID-19 response, it’s important to scale up efforts to incorporate and support trained and trusted CHWs to create an effective, culturally informed pathway to reaching all communities across Minnesota. CHWs are an integral part of the solution.
– Shandy Potes Mangra, CHW
For more information on CHWs and COVID-19 vaccination, click to see this guide by the WHO.