FEMA Supports Vaccine Distribution: COVID-19 Response Update

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
March 5, 2021

WASHINGTON -- Additional federally supported community vaccination centers are set to open next week in Chicago and Greensboro, North Carolina, with more center openings scheduled for Atlanta and Cleveland in the coming weeks.  

In the ongoing battle against COVID-19, FEMA continues working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public officials to engage community and faith-based organizations, helping reach underserved, hesitant and historically marginalized groups. 

Partnering with the CDC, the U.S. Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) launched the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program. The program is being rolled out incrementally at select HRSA-funded health centers that specialize in caring for hard-to-reach and disproportionately affected populations. Initial health centers chosen for this program include those serving a large volume of at least one of the following populations: 

  • Individuals experiencing homelessness. 

  • Public housing residents. 

  • Migratory and seasonal agricultural workers. 

  • Patients with limited English proficiency. 

Ensuring the equitable distribution of vaccines is a FEMA priority. The agency continues working with state partners to locate community vaccination centers where they will be able to do the most good for the most vulnerable populations. More than 500 community vaccination centers are now operating nationwide, and 70 mobile vaccination centers are also serving communities across the nation.  

FEMA has achieved President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s goal of establishing 100 federally supported community vaccination centers in 30 days, and starting next week, vaccine allocations to states, tribes and territories will increase to 15.2 million. 

FEMA also continues providing live on-demand American Sign Language interpreters at all federally supported community vaccination centers. The service is available every day of the week during each center’s hours of operation.  

FEMA has now provided more than $4.13 billion for expenses related to COVID-19 vaccination at 100% federal cost share. These funds cover critical supplies, staffing, training and transportation needs that support increased vaccination efforts. 

Ensuring Equitable Vaccine Access 

FEMA has civil rights advisors and disability integration specialists in each of FEMA’s 10 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. 

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. 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, and CDC also has online tips for building vaccine confidence,  

FEMA is committed to ensuring everyone who wants a vaccine can get one. To learn more visit Vaccine Support | FEMA.gov


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