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Indiana organization receives grant to address language, financial barriers to adult immunization

A needle being injected into a person's arm
Justin Hicks
/
IPB
The Indiana Immunization Coalition was one of 10 groups across the country to receive a grant from pharmaceutical company Glaxo-Smith-Kline. The grants are intended to support community-based organizations in addressing gaps in adult immunization.

Language and financial barriers present a challenge for Hoosiers trying to keep up-to-date on their vaccine schedules, or even starting them. An Indiana immunization group is using new grant funding to expand its services for additional languages.

The Indiana Immunization Coalition was one of 10 groups across the country to receive a grant from pharmaceutical company GSK. The grants are intended to support community-based organizations in addressing gaps in adult immunization.

Tommy Acciani, GSK’s director of U.S. vaccine policy, said the company wants to invest in local groups who already have the connections to the community to bridge gaps in access.

“We can work on these really large national issues, but really, when it comes down to getting some of that last mile efforts that need to happen in the communities to get over those barriers, we really need groups like [IIC],” Acciani said.

Lisa Robertson, the executive director of IIC, said the organization wants to use the funding to provide interpreters to address language barriers to vaccines. She also said covering the cost of vaccines will help reach more people.

“Access and language and cost and fear of going and accessing services is a big issue in our immigrant family communities where they may not want to go to the local health department because of the government affiliation,” Robertson said.

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Robertson said the organization also wants to develop educational materials in additional languages, such as Spanish and Haitian Creole, to make information about vaccines more accessible.

“I think reaching new communities and making sure we're really thoughtful in our approach so that these immigrant and migrant families don't feel left out of the system if we can make them feel welcome and that this is a safe space,” Robertson said. “I think for us, those are all successful points.”

Robertson said the organization is also working with community members to identify the best way to deliver vaccine education and get them connected to services.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said the title of the company providing the grant is Glaxo-Smith-Kline. That was incorrect. It is GSK.

Abigail is IPB's health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

Copyright 2023 IPB News.

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Abigail Ruhman