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FEMA Supports Vaccine Distribution: COVID-19 Response Update

Release Date Release Number
HQ-21-052

WASHINGTON -- FEMA continues its push to speed up vaccinations across the country, supporting states as they open additional community vaccination centers this week. In addition to Pfizer and Moderna, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be delivered to three federal pilot community vaccination centers in California, Florida and Texas, helping to bring this unprecedented pandemic to an end.  

FEMA continues increasing vaccine allocations to states, tribes and territories, ensuring everyone who wants a vaccine can get one. Using data from CDC’s social vulnerability index, the agency is partnering with state leaders to identify community vaccination centers where they will be able to do the most good for the most vulnerable populations.

Today, a community vaccination center -- with the capacity to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day -- will open in Philadelphia. FEMA is working with state governments to open additional sites this week in:

  • Duval, Hillsborough, Miami and Orange counties in Florida.
  • Albany, Erie, Monroe and Westchester counties in New York.

Two additional centers will open next week: one in Chicago and one in Greensboro, North Carolina. In the last two weeks, FEMA has helped open pilot centers in major metropolitan areas in California, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.

FEMA has now provided more than $4.02 billion for expenses related to COVID-19 vaccination at 100% federal cost share, establishing or expanding more than 450 vaccination centers nationwide.  Additionally, 47 mobile vaccination centers continue serving communities across the nation.

Even as FEMA remains focused on supporting vaccination distribution efforts, the agency continues supporting multiple disasters, including the disaster declarations for Texas and Oklahoma winter storms. To date, FEMA has awarded more than $41.6 million dollars to eligible Texan survivors and over $158,300 to eligible Oklahoman survivors. This assistance can help with temporary housing and home repairs as well as other resources to help eligible individuals and business owners start the recovery process.

FEMA and Other Federal Agencies are Supporting Vaccination Centers

FEMA has deployed 1,948 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.

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 site locations and providing contracting capability to establish new centers. The U.S. National Guard Bureau is providing 1,198 vaccinators to 409 vaccination centers.

Department of Defense Vaccine Support teams are in California, New Jersey, New York and Texas. More teams are scheduled to arrive in Florida, Pennsylvania and the U.S. Virgin Islands this week.

Additionally, 1,151 interagency vaccinators and 1,272 clinical staff have deployed to support states, tribes and territories. More than 700 additional vaccinators and clinical staff are awaiting assignment.

Enduring Equitable Vaccine Access

FEMA is committed to the equitable distribution of vaccines and 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 also 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.

Additional Vaccination Programs

FEMA continues 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

Find vaccine updates in your community and more information from your local health department to confirm if you can get a vaccine. You can find a list of places where adults can get a vaccine and visit FEMA.gov for detailed information on FEMA’s vaccination support efforts.

The Ad Council partnered with COVID Collaborative’s scientific advisory group and the CDC on a campaign “It’s Up to You” to build public confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines. 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. A free public health toolkit is available online.

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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Last updated March 2, 2021