Merski, Harkins: Grassroots organizations receiving $35,000 for vaccine outreach

ERIE, Dec. 15 – Grants totaling $35,000 will fund outreach efforts by two groups as they work to encourage Erie residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today.

The lawmakers said the funding – awarded through the COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Grant Program – includes $15,000 to the Robert Benjamin Wiley Community Charter School and another $20,000 to the Sikh Society of Harrisburg, which will benefit residents in Erie and several other counties.

“Despite some progress in community vaccine rates, there are still residents who are reluctant to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” Harkins said. “This new funding will help grassroots organizations reach out with the message that getting the vaccine is a critically important way to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Merski said, “For those who are still hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, sometimes the right message, from a trusted neighbor or group, is all that is needed. Securing this funding is going to allow R.B. Wiley and the Sikh Society to reach out and provide residents the reassurance they need that the vaccine is safe and effective.”

The grants are part of a package of $2.5 million to support vaccine outreach efforts statewide.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Grant Program is administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development. More about the funding is available here.