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Providers aiming to increase vaccine acceptance among employees could receive up to $28 million in grant funding, thanks to a new research opportunity announced by a federal research institute.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute has opened its latest funding opportunity for research that focuses on finding effective interventions that increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake among long-term care workers. Applications to receive funding opened on Tuesday. Up to $28 million will be awarded for studies.

A March report found that just 37.5% of long-term care staff received a first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines during the earliest round of a federal vaccination program. Industry leaders have set a goal of having 75% of staffers vaccinated by the end of June.

Participants’ studies should address effective interventions used to increase acceptance among long-term care workers and how that evidence can be integrated into vaccine promotion and increase confidence.

The institute is also encouraging research to consider how vaccine interventions may impact different subgroups of workers, such as within minorities, gender groups and those with lower socioeconomic status.

“Increasing confidence and uptake among LTC workers is critical to protecting the workers themselves; other workers they associate with; the patients and families they serve; and the loved ones, friends, and neighbors in the communities in which they reside,” the institute wrote.

The deadline to apply for the funding is May 4, 2021 at 5 p.m. EST.

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