CHICAGO — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL), a leader in building healthy communities across the state, has launched #VaccTogether, a campaign to boost COVID-19 vaccine access and education with a focus on seniors and communities hardest hit by the pandemic. This includes the opening of an additional round of grants through the BCBSIL Care Van® Immunization Initiative. Funding will support the expansion of access to COVID-19 vaccinations, testing and education.
”Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve believed collaboration is key to supporting our members and communities. We’re now looking to further grow the network of partners we’re helping to increase vaccine access throughout Illinois,” said Harmony Harrington, vice president, government and community relations, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. “Our aim is for our Care Van program to help deliver critical resources to those most impacted by COVID-19 so we can all get #VaccTogether safely as soon as possible.”
This #VaccTogether round of funding will award grants of between $20,000 and $40,000 per qualifying organization.
- Organizations that have an action plan to use the BCBSIL Mobile Care Van unit in their respective communities for specialized, community-based COVID-19 vaccine mobile health initiatives will be eligible for an additional $10,000 worth of funding.
- Organizations are encouraged to apply starting April 20 here, using Invitation Code: P4P_2021, Funding Stream: IL P4P Immunization Grant
- The deadline to submit applications is Monday, May 10.
BCBSIL is also announcing “BCBSIL VaccTogether Month” from May 1 through May 31. To kick off VaccTogether Month, BCBSIL will announce the organizations selected to receive grants as part of the Care Van Immunization Initiative on May 7. BCBSIL will also connect communities with vaccines and bolster community education efforts at Blue Door Neighborhood CenterSM locations in Chicago’s Morgan Park, Pullman and South Lawndale neighborhoods, as well as through new community partnerships. BCBSIL VaccTogether Month will also serve as a call to action to those who are vaccinated to help others make appointments with health care providers and get vaccinated as well. BCBSIL encourages Illinoisans to share photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as they do their part to support COVID-19 education and vaccine access using the hashtag #VaccTogether.
#VaccTogether and BCBSIL VaccTogether Month are just the latest ways Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is demonstrating its commitment to community health and recovery from the pandemic, including:
- Earlier this month, BCBSIL joined AHIP, BCBSA, Illinois Association of Medicaid Health Plans (IAMHP), and Illinois Life and Health Insurance Council (ILHIC) on the Vaccine Community Connectors program, providing direct vaccination scheduling for vulnerable seniors across the state.
- April 1, BCBSIL announced the 175 non-profits receiving $3.5M in COVID-19 Collaboration Fund grants to address crucial needs for people across the state as a result of COVID-19.
- Our Care Van program is working with the Chicago Department of Public Health to bring COVID-19 vaccines to targeted high-need “strike” sites, including senior housing.
- Since March, Access Community Health Network has been using two Blue Door Neighborhood Center locations to provide health care providers with a place to administer COVID-19 vaccinations.
“Fighting COVID-19 is a collective effort. Everyone can get involved by helping a loved one book a vaccine appointment or sharing your personal story about why getting vaccinated is important to you and your family,” said Harrington. “#VaccTogether is all about reconnecting with friends, family and the people we care about to reclaim life’s sweetest moments, and we remain committed to doing our part to keep our communities healthy.”
Learn more about BCBSIL’s support for members and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.