FEMA Supports Community Vaccination Centers

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
March 1, 2021

WASHINGTON -- FEMA continues working with state, tribal and territorial authorities to open additional vaccination centers this week. The centers are scheduled to open in Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa, Florida; Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Yonkers, New York; Philadelphia; and Waldorf, Maryland. Two additional centers will open next week, one in Greensboro, North Carolina and another in Chicago.

Additionally, there are 37 mobile vaccination centers serving communities across the nation. Last month, community vaccination centers opened in New York, Texas and California.

FEMA has now provided more than $3.97 billion for expenses related to President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s COVID-19 vaccination plan at 100% federal cost share.  FEMA continues working to speed up vaccinations by supporting states as they open community vaccine centers across the country and as vaccine allocations to states, tribes and territories continue to increase. Starting this week, the weekly vaccine supply to states will increase to 14.5 million doses.

FEMA is committed to the equitable distribution of vaccines. We use data from CDC’s social vulnerability index, and work with our state partners to locate community vaccination centers where they will be able to do the most good for the most vulnerable populations and ensure everyone who wants a vaccine gets one.

To confirm if you can get a vaccine, find updates in your community and more information from your local health department. You can also find  a list of places where adults can get a vaccine. Community based organizations and other trusted messengers are sharing GetVaccineAnswers.org and DeTiDepende.org to help people feel confident and prepared to get vaccinated once a vaccine is available to them.

Even as FEMA is focused on supporting vaccination distribution efforts, the agency continues supporting multiple disasters, including the disaster declarations for winter storms in Texas and Oklahoma. To date, FEMA has awarded $35.8 million  to eligible Texas survivors and $123,800 to eligible Oklahoma survivors. This assistance can help with temporary housing and home repairs and other resources to help eligible individuals and business owners start the recovery process.

FEMA and Other Federal Agencies Are Supporting Vaccination Centers

FEMA has now deployed 1,938 staff across the nation to support the vaccination mission. On Feb. 5, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas activated the DHS Surge Capacity Force for vaccination support operations. The surge force is composed of federal employees from other federal agencies to augment FEMA’s workforce. Two surge members are in Dover, Delaware and 43 are in New Jersey to support vaccination efforts. Forty additional surge members are en route to Illinois and other areas of the country.

FEMA published a Community Vaccination Centers Playbook that establishes guidance for providing federal support to state, tribal and territorial community vaccination centers. Playbook information includes interagency coordination, resource support, facility setup and other requirements for consideration.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is supporting future planning for community vaccination centers using their subject matter experts, alongside FEMA and state assessments teams, assessing potential new center locations and providing contracting capability to establish new centers.

The U.S. National Guard Bureau is providing 1,198 vaccinators to 409 vaccination centers. Additionally, 2,332 interagency vaccinators have deployed to 11 states, two tribes and one territory. The U.S. Coast Guard deployed 34 members to Hawaii, New Jersey and Oklahoma to support vaccination services. Department of Defense Vaccine Support teams are in California, New Jersey, New York and Texas. Additional teams are scheduled to arrive in Florida, Pennsylvania and the U.S. Virgin Islands next week.

Ensuring Equitable Vaccine Access

FEMA has civil rights advisors and disability integration specialists in each of FEMA’s regions to advise state, local, tribal and territorial governments and other partners. Additional disability integration advisors and civil rights advisors are deploying to support these efforts.   

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. FEMA published “Ensuring Equitable Vaccine Access” to define FEMA’s commitment to equity and describe the Civil Rights Advisory Group.

FEMA developed a Civil Rights Checklist to assist state, tribal and territorial partners in understanding and fulfilling their obligations to provide access to vaccine-related programs, activities and services in a nondiscriminatory manner. The agency is also coordinating translation and interpretation services.

Community Vaccination Center Pilot Partnerships

FEMA, in coordination with CDC and other federal partners, has developed tailorable packages to support establishment of community vaccination centers in partnership with states, local, tribal and territorial governments.

The centers FEMA is piloting in locations such as California, New York and Texas are selected based on data analysis, including the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index and other Census data as well as input from our state and local partners. Input also includes localized considerations such as the existing deployment of resources and feedback from state public health experts.

Additional Vaccination Programs

Standard vaccine delivery for state allocations has increased week-over-week. As the federal government works to increase the supply of vaccine to jurisdictions, FEMA is taking steps to build the infrastructure so it can adapt when vaccine supply is more readily available.

In addition to community vaccination centers,  federally allocated vaccines continue to be administered across the country via:

  • The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, which is a partnership between the federal government, states and territories, and national and independent pharmacy networks across the United States.
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers such as community health centers.
  • Federal entities, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Indian Health Service.

Vaccine Guidance

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 confidenceconsults@cdc.gov. CDC also has online tips for building vaccine confidence.

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