Share, Trust, Organize, Partner COVID-19 California Alliance, or STOP COVID-19 CA: A Community Engaged Collaborative to address COVID-19 Education, Vaccine Trial Participation and Vaccine Acceptability

Abstract

Recognizing the diversity of populations within California and the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on minority and low income communities, we have formed a statewide community-partnered collaborative funded by the NIH/NHLBI to address disparities in COVID-19 knowledge, awareness, and communication; vaccine trial participation; and vaccine hesitancy and accessibility. The statewide collaborative, “Share, Trust, Organize, Partner: COVID-19 California Alliance,” or STOP COVID-19 CA, was initiated in September 2020, and includes 11 academic institutions and over 70 local community organizations to reduce misinformation, increase diversity and accessibility of vaccine clinical trials, and promote vaccination uptake once there is a COVID-19 vaccine in the most affected communities. The partnership includes eight NIH funded CTSA and three Resource Centers in Minority Institutions in the state. The collaborative will build community capacity, conduct qualitative and quantitative research with community stakeholders, create accessible training materials for trusted community leaders, increase opportunities and outreach for COVID-19 clinical trial participation, and inform policy at the local, state, and national levels. Workgroups across the collaborative will identify common challenges and assets, lessons learned, suggestions, continuing questions, findings, impact, and identify needs for future research, all closely linked to national CEAL efforts.

As of October 2020, the STOP COVID-19 CA collaborative has partnered with 15 COVID-19 prevention, vaccine, and therapeutic trials through a broad range of community-engaged activities. Approaches include community advisory boards, developing and tailoring recruitment materials, and direct outreach via community health workers, research assistants, and community partners. Information about COVID-19 misconceptions, prevention strategies, and emergent issues at the national and local levels has been presented to 50515 individuals at 55 events throughout the state. The collaborative has started work on site-specific projects to identify vaccination hesitancy (through focus groups, deliberative community engagement, and surveys) and tailor messaging once a vaccine is available. Linking with common data elements from the national CEAL efforts, several surveys are underway, including geographically-linked dashboards from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) to measure changes in COVID-19 perceptions and vaccine acceptance across the state over the next year.