The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) is teaming with Feeding America for COVID-19 vaccine outreach in vulnerable communities.
Clinical information and educational materials highlighting the safety and efficacy of the vaccines will be made available at Feeding America's 200 food banks, which reach 40 million people. BCBSA will provide physical handouts as well as social media posts with information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its own clinicians.
The materials will be available in both English and Spanish, BCBSA said, and aim to "dispel common myths" that may prevent people from getting vaccinated.
"To stop the pandemic, we must work together to help people get vaccinated and support our communities—especially those that are most vulnerable," said Kim Keck, president and CEO of BCBSA, in a statement.
"With its nationwide network of community food banks, Feeding America is a tireless advocate for millions of Americans. We are pleased to work with them to build confidence in vaccines and to start to regain normalcy in our lives," Keck said.
As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout begins to expand in earnest, a significant concern has been ensuring underserved populations and high-risk patients receive the shots they need.
BCBSA joined forces with America's Health Insurance Plans for a pilot that aims to ensure 2 million seniors in vulnerable communities, such as Black and Hispanic communities, are vaccinated. Payers participating in the program will work alongside local, state and federal officials to identify seniors at high risk, provide vaccine education and assist in appointment scheduling.
BCBSA said that, to date, its member plans have invested $7 billion to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Feeding America is uniquely positioned to help identify and address systemic barriers to ending food insecurity in the United States," said Casey Marsh, chief development officer at Feeding America, in a statement. "Partnerships with organizations like BCBSA help us work with member food banks to invest in underserved communities in many ways, including investments in health equity."