WASHINGTON – Today, the Biden-Harris administration announced a $10 billion investment to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines for communities of color and other underserved populations. This investment includes $6 billion from the American Rescue Plan going toward community health centers, $3 billion toward outreach efforts to hardest-hit and high-risk communities, and $330 million toward support for community health workers.

Juliet K. Choi, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the following statement:

“APIAHF applauds the Administration’s efforts to address COVID-19 disparities in communities of color, including Asian American, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander communities. We know that, despite the lack of accurate and complete data, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities have some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates among all racial and ethnic groups, and Asian Americans have disproportionately high COVID-19 related death rates.

Investments in community health centers and community health workers are critical to providing culturally competent and linguistically accessible care to underserved members of our communities who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Community health centers and community health workers have trusted relationships with the communities they serve and, oftentimes, are already outreaching and providing information to their communities without getting the recognition or support they deserve.

This is a vital step toward addressing health disparities in our communities and bringing us closer to a more equitable health system. APIAHF looks forward to continuing its work with the Biden-Harris administration to bring about meaningful and lasting reforms in our health system — tackling structural barriers like language access and the lack of robust disaggregated data, enhancing the capacity of community organizations serving communities of color, and boldly making the investments for a truly modern public health infrastructure.”

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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.