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FEMA Awards Over $64 Million to Rhode Island for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

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REGION 1 – The State of Rhode Island received a grant totaling more than $64 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for costs associated with COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts. Since January of 2020, COVID-19 has created an immediate threat to the health and safety of the general public requiring emergency response and protective measures.

The grant of $64,889,924 is given to the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency as the agency sets up and outfits various types of vaccine distribution sites, both state and individual municipality-run, throughout the state.  FEMA provides the funding directly to the State of Rhode Island for the period of January 21, 2021 to April 21, 2021.

Funds are awarded through FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant Program which reimburses communities for actions taken in the immediate response and recovery activities during a disaster. 

Eligible costs include, but are not limited to, personal protection equipment (PPE); supplies and equipment required for storing, handling, distributing/transporting and administering COVID-19 vaccines, such as coolers, freezers, temperature monitoring devices, and portable vaccine storage units for transportation.  This grant will also cover emergency medical supplies for emergency medical care needs that may arise in the administration of the vaccine, and equipment needed for medical waste. Transportation support includes refrigerated trucks and transport security; facility support costs such as leasing space for storage and/or administration of vaccines; utilities; maintenance and security; additional staff if necessary, including medical and support staff not paid for by another funding source; and opening a  call center for scheduling vaccine activity.

“We are pleased to provide funding to the State of Rhode Island to support their Vaccination program and meet the financial demands they are experiencing as a result of COVID-19.” said Acting Regional Administrator and Federal Coordinating Officer Paul Ford, who oversees FEMA’s operations in New England.  “We continue to work closely with the state in the efficient and safe distribution of the vaccine as part of our shared efforts to respond to this pandemic.”

Additional information about FEMA’s Public Assistance program is found at:



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Last updated February 25, 2021