An additional £3m is being allocated to clinical commissioning groups (CCG) to help areas set up long term plans to address Covid vaccine inequalities, NHS England has said.
Regions can submit funding applications for around £100,000 to £150,000 as sponsors for their CCGs from tomorrow (26 March), the NHSE letter said.
It added that applications will be prioritised from areas that are assessed as having ‘significant vaccine inequalities and that have not received community champion funding’, address a historically underserved community, or those that propose ‘novel or innovative approaches’.
Applications should outline the region’s approach and desired impact, highlight any innovations, and confirm any partners they intend to work with.
The letter said that applications would be reviewed on a rolling basis, until all funding has been allocated.
It added that applications for a higher value than around £150,000 will be considered ‘under exceptional circumstances’.
This follows an earlier allocation of £4.2m to sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) in February, to be used across constituent CCGs.
CCGs were asked to develop plans – agreed by local directors of public health – to outline how this initial funding would be used.
NHSE said areas should now assess these plans to consider how effective they are at removing barriers to access, increasing confidence, and boosting uptake.
Successful local approaches set up using the the initial funding included temporary vaccine clinics at addresses serving as shelters for people experiencing homelessness, which saw 90% of those living at the shelter vaccinated, NHS England said.
Meanwhile, in central Liverpool, a pop-up clinical was setup at the Pakistan Multicultural Youth and Community Centre, with community leaders on-site and medical students from ethnic minorities and faith vaccinating.
NHSE has previously said that places of worship can partner with existing PCN and pharmacy-led sites as temporary vaccine clinics in communities with lower uptake.