Nurse Practitioners Mobilize to Increase Vaccinations Across Minority Communities and Combat Vaccine Hesitancy

Profession Deploys Innovative Strategies to Drive Vaccine Adherence and Challenge Misinformation

AUSTIN, TEXAS — The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP), the largest association of nurse practitioners (NPs), and NPs across the nation are mobilizing to encourage COVID-19 vaccine participation, raise awareness around the importance of COVID-19 vaccine access and combat COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in minority communities. During Minority Health Month, AANP is highlighting ongoing efforts to address health disparities in minority communities and the work of NPs to increase equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. This includes door-to-door appointment scheduling in underserved communities and mobile vaccination clinics in urban and rural areas.

“NPs have been treating patients with COVID-19 since day one; we have seen firsthand the adverse impact of this disease on our nation’s minority communities,” said AANP President-elect April Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP- BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN. “This Minority Health Month, NPs will continue efforts to raise awareness of vaccine safety and promote widespread vaccine distribution and access. The American people need to know this vaccine is safe, it is effective and it is available. As one community and as one nation, we can increase the vaccination rate and bring an end to this pandemic once and for all. AANP is committed to being part of that solution now and in the months ahead.”

NPs are deploying innovative strategies for vaccine distribution and education to ensure vaccine-hesitant populations, non-English speakers and other underserved individuals have needed information to make an informed decision about the vaccine and gain access to vaccinations in their local community. Two examples highlighting how AANP’s membership is stepping up include:

  • AANP's President-elect, April Kapu, is leading a door-to-door vaccine scheduling drive with NP students in Kurdish and Hispanic communities and door-to-door vaccinations of home-bound seniors in Tennessee. The unprecedented vaccination events, launched in partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt School of Nursing, will continue this weekend at Valor Center.
  • AANP member and fellow Anabell Castro Thompson, MSN, APRN, ANP-C, FAAN, FAANP, an NP and Senior Vice President, Health Equity with Equality Health, is engaged in a public-private partnership to reach minority communities close to home, combat misinformation and conduct local events to vaccinate 500,000 people living in Arizona’s underserved communities. The effort also offers COVID-19 testing and provides food boxes to families and individuals in need.

The federal government has also taken steps to increase equitable access to COVID-19 vaccinations. Late last month, the Biden administration announced $10 billion would be targeted toward communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, including resources for community health centers and programs to increase COVID-19 vaccine equity and uptake.

“On behalf of AANP, I would like to recognize the administration for its commitment to strengthen COVID-19 vaccine access and equity across our nation,” said AANP President Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP. “This funding will greatly expand access and awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine in underserved communities and will have a lasting impact on the overall health of our nation. By improving access to care in underserved communities, health professionals – including NPs – can help to address and reverse disparities.”

For more information and updates on AANP’s COVID-19 vaccination education and access campaign throughout the duration of Minority Health Month, please visit aanp.org.

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The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 290,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NPs’ patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. To locate a nurse practitioner in your community, go to npfinder.com. For more information about NPs, visit aanp.org. For COVID-19 information from AANP, visit https://bit.ly/2UFPhgz.