Howard University College of Medicine has received a total of $1.59 million to fund its efforts of building mobile vaccination units in order to help fight lack of access and vaccine hesitancy within Black and other medically underserved communities.
The grant has been provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative which was started by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“COVID-19 has been devastating to the health and economic wellbeing of many Black families – and right now, increasing equitable access to vaccines is one way we can serve the needs of those who need it most,” said Bloomberg. “Bloomberg Philanthropies is glad to expand our partnership with America’s four historically Black medical schools as they ramp up their mobile operations and ensure that more people get their shots quickly.”
Howard has already vaccinated more than 25,000 people in the area, according to the university’s President Wayne Frederick, who said they are now hoping to vaccinate more members of the Black community, which has been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
In cooperation with DC Health and other partners, the school has set up many temporary vaccination sites and mobile units to inoculate vulnerable populations.
“I am immensely grateful for the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative,” said Frederick about the grant in a release. “Howard University plays an outsized role in caring for the Black community in Washington, D.C. While this is always the case, it has been especially true during the pandemic.”
Howard got its first investment — $32.8 million — from Bloomberg’s initiative in September 2020. Given as part of a $100 million grant for the country’s four historically Black medical schools, Howard’s share was the largest donation to the College of Medicine in its history.
The $100 million gift is used towards easing the debt burden of around 800 Black medical students.