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Pittsburgh Bhutanese association receives $20,000 from state to perform COVID-19 vaccine outreach 

Khara Timsina, executive director of the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh.
Commonwealth Media Services
Khara Timsina, executive director of the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh.

The Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh is 1 of 65 organizations to receive state grants for COVID-19 vaccine outreach.

The Wolf administration reasons that trusted grassroots operations are better equipped to encourage vaccinations than government officials. The Bhutanese organization will use its $20,000 award to educate community members and set up vaccination clinics.

“This grant is going to help us reach and educate families in the Bhutanese community in Pittsburgh that have been hard to reach. And make sure they have the needed resources surrounding COVID-19,” said the association’s executive director Khara Timsina

Other Allegheny County organizations to receive funding include the Northside Leadership Conference and the Kingsley Association, which received $40,000 and $75,000 respectively.

County executive Rich Fitzgerald said at the announcement of the grant awards that vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic, which is why trusted community groups are needed to discuss their importance.

“It’s going to be a tough winter for people who are unvaccinated,” he said. “This pandemic, in many ways, is now a pandemic among the unvaccinated.”

The Wolf administration says there will be more grants awarded in the future, though there is no specified schedule.

Sarah Boden covers health and science for 90.5 WESA. Before coming to Pittsburgh in November 2017, she was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio where she covered a range of issues, including the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.