WASHINGTON –FEMA has now provided more than $3.16 billion to states, territories, tribes and Washington, D.C., for expenses related to COVID-19 vaccination at 100% federal cost share. These funds cover critical supplies, staffing, training and transportation needs that can help protect and save lives. The agency has deployed 1,154 staff across the nation to support vaccine centers with federal personnel and technical assistance, with additional teams supporting virtually.
FEMA Disability Integration specialists and advisors are deployed to ensure the needs of people with disabilities are integrated in all facets of vaccine center operation and are analyzing community demographics, coordinating translation and interpretation services, to include American Sign Language, and are considering the needs of people with disabilities who choose to be vaccinated.
Ensuring Equitable Vaccine Access
FEMA established a Civil Rights Advisory Group to proactively consider and promptly resolve civil rights concerns and help ensure equity in the allocation of scarce resources, including future vaccine allocation. This group evaluates policies, practices, strategies and plans to ensure equity is at the forefront of all FEMA vaccination efforts across the country. FEMA developed a Civil Rights Checklist to assist in understanding and fulfilling their obligations to provide access to vaccine-related programs, activities and services in a nondiscriminatory manner.
CDC has released updated guidance on how people can make sure their mask works the best it can, such as wearing a cloth mask over a medical mask. The CDC worked with the Ad Council to produce public service announcements to encourage and normalize the consistent use of masks. The CDC Vaccine Task Force and Data Analysis & Visualization Task Force launched the CDC COVID Data Tracker Vaccinations Trends page. This page includes the overall trends of vaccinations over time in the United States and for the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. Additionally, the CDC Vaccine Task Force is rolling out vaccine confidence consultations for interested jurisdictions. To request this service, interested jurisdictions can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. CDC also has online tips for building vaccine confidence and a Strategy to Reinforce Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccine resource. FEMA is working with the the Ad Council to encourage hesitant or underrepresented people 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, social distancing, handwashing and other hygiene measures until public health officials say otherwise. FEMA is committed to ensuring everyone who wants a vaccine can get one.