FEMA Supports Vaccine Distribution: COVID-19 Response Update

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Release Date:
February 5, 2021

WASHINGTON -- FEMA has now obligated more than $1.98 billion to states, tribes, territories and Washington D.C., for community vaccination centers, and as of Feb. 4, there are 175 federally supported vaccine centers operational across the country.

FEMA continues working alongside other federal agencies in providing federal support for critical staffing, supplies and other shortfalls that can help get more Americans vaccinated.

President Joseph R. Biden directed FEMA to retroactively reimburse states for 100% of their costs for eligible emergency protective measures including masks, gloves, emergency feeding actions, sheltering at risk populations and mobilization of the National Guard, if not funded by HHS/CDC or another federal agency.

The President’s directive also directs FEMA to expand the activities eligible for reimbursement for work conducted after Jan. 21, 2021 and until Sept. 30, 2021. Reimbursement applies to eligible costs to support the safe opening and operation of eligible schools, child-care facilities, healthcare facilities, non-congregate shelters, domestic violence shelters, transit systems and other eligible applicants incurred after Jan. 21.

Community Vaccination Center Pilot Partnerships

The federal government is partnering with state governments to launch a small number of pilot community vaccination sites using primarily federal staff to support state and local governments. Piloting these centers allows FEMA and its federal partners to ensure the success of a small number of centers before preparing additional support as vaccine supplies ramp up in the weeks and months ahead. On Tuesday, FEMA, and the state of California partnered to launch a pilot project to establish community vaccination centers in Los Angeles and Oakland. FEMA will provide resources, operational support and federal staffing support to establish these new centers. The centers are expected to be open to eligible members of the public beginning Feb. 16.

Federal Funding to Accelerate Vaccine Efforts

FEMA is supporting vaccination centers by providing expedited financial assistance, federal equipment and supplies and deploying federal personnel to states, tribes, territories and other eligible applicants for vaccination efforts. This assistance is processed when a request is submitted.

FEMA is supporting COVID-19 vaccine distribution by providing reimbursement to governments for costs associated with vaccine distribution and administration. Providing funding to states, tribes and territories is an Administration priority. After a request is submitted, reviewed and validated, FEMA can expedite reimbursement for eligible emergency work projects to ensure resources are available to support vaccine distribution and administration.

Vaccine Guidance

FEMA is working with the Ad Council to encourage hesitant or underrepresented Americans to get vaccinated. This research-driven public education campaign provides federal, non-profit, and medical stakeholders with insights and communications strategies to tailor communications to reach diverse audiences. The vaccine is not a perfect fix. Everyone should continue to practice other precautions like wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance, handwashing and other hygiene measures until public health officials say otherwise.

FEMA is committed to ensuring every American who wants a vaccine can get one.

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