WASHINGTON -- Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 national emergency and the beginning of FEMA’s expanded role in the federal response. With the activation of the National Response Coordination Center last March, the agency began a year-long journey that not only challenged the strength and resilience of our nation but also that of FEMA’s 21,000 emergency managers.
A year later, FEMA continues working with state, tribal and territorial authorities to help bring this pandemic to an end. One strategy is speeding up vaccinations by supporting states as they open community vaccination centers across the country, ensuring everyone who wants a vaccine can get one.
“Thanks to the vaccines and the steps we continue to take to control the spread of COVID-19, we are drawing closer to the season when we can return to the places we enjoy and create more memories with people we care about,” said Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton. “While we join those who mourn, we also want to look forward to the future.”
The future includes funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which appropriates $50 billion to FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), covering costs associated with major disaster declarations, including the ongoing battle against COVID-19. President Biden signed the plan into law yesterday, providing relief to address the continued impact of the pandemic on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals and businesses.
To date, FEMA has provided more than $4.28 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.
FEMA and its interagency partners continue to stand up and provide support to additional vaccination centers daily, actively engaging state, tribal, territorial, local and nonprofit partners to ensure all individuals have the information to decide whether they want a vaccine, know the steps to get one and have access to one.
Federal pilot community vaccination centers are due to open in Detroit, Cleveland and Atlanta in the coming weeks.
Community vaccination centers are led by states, but may be supported by the federal government, including FEMA. Each state determines its own vaccination priority groups and procedures.
FEMA rose to last year’s unprecedented challenge in responding to the historic pandemic, coordinating with state, local, tribal and territorial governments, federal agencies, voluntary organizations and private sector partners. Some of these projects include:
- Project Airbridge, which secured and distributed crucial PPE in the early days of the pandemic
- Administering Lost Wages
- Responding to an extended hurricane season and widespread western fires
- Providing billions of dollars worth of support to disaster survivors and communities
FEMA is committed to the equitable distribution of vaccines. Find out where, when and how to get a vaccine in your community and get more information from your local health department and a list of places where adults can get a vaccine.
Visit FEMA.gov for information on FEMA’s vaccination support efforts.