WASHINGTON -- FEMA continues to play a significant role in the ongoing battle against COVID-19, delivering on the agency’s commitment to bring vaccinations to hard-to-reach and historically underserved communities during the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris Administration.
The agency has provided more than $4.7 billion to states, tribes, territories and the District of Columbia in support of pandemic response efforts across the country. FEMA’s strong partnerships with state, local, territorial and tribal governments is helping ensure everyone who wants a vaccine can get one, especially communities of color. “Equity is at the core of our federal response and recovery strategy, keeping hard-to-reach and underserved populations around the country at the forefront of decision making and operations,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell.
“The needs of the community who visit our sites remains a top priority,” said Criswell. “We’re boosting accessibility by providing translation services in more than 180 languages for people with language barriers, as well as deploying our civil rights and disability integration staff to help partners address the needs of people with disabilities in all facets of vaccine center operations.”
FEMA has opened over 30 pilot community vaccination centers and 11 mobile vaccination units across the United States serving hard-to-reach areas. As part of this mission, 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 an equitable and nondiscriminatory manner.
“Through our 10 regional offices working with our various partners, we’ve ensured that more than 56% of historically underserved populations have been served through pilot community vaccination centers in cities throughout the country from Yakima County in Washington to Bessemer County in Alabama,” she said.
The vaccine distribution mission is one of several other actions taken by the agency to support the nation. A full list of activities can be found here. The FEMA 100-Days of Action is in large part due to the efforts of the agency’s 10 regional offices.
Here are some highlights:
Region 1 – Leveraging Partnerships, Achieving Results
The region set up a partnership with a group home in Rhode Island for adults with disabilities. The FEMA staff working at the Providence community vaccination center coordinates with this group to provide a sensory room for vaccinations in a separate space at the end of the day with a private entrance.
BOSTON -- FEMA Region 1, along with federal and state partners, commemorates 100k vaccines administered at the Hynes community vaccination center in mid-April.
Region 2 – Bringing Vaccinations to the Northeast Corridor
FEMA Region 2 has opened pilot community vaccination centers in Newark, New Jersey; New York City (Brooklyn and Queens), Albany, Erie, Westchester and Monroe, New York.
The federal pilot community vaccination centers are just one part of the overall support FEMA provides to states and jurisdictions. FEMA works with each state, tribe and territory to identify COVID-related resource needs and provide tailored resources to support vaccination efforts. FEMA provides 100% of funding for protective measures against COVID-19 and vaccine-related activities.
PATERSON, N.J. -- FEMA staff at a community vaccination center at Cavalry Baptist Church help community members with the vaccination process.
Region 3 – Grass Roots Outreach, Multiple Centers Connect the Region with Vaccine Access
Region 3 worked with local, state, private sector and federal partners to identify, build out and open three federal pilot sites focused on ensuring vaccines were accessible to socially vulnerable citizens in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Sites included: Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, the Greenbelt, Maryland, Metro Station and Military Circle Mall in Norfolk, Va.
Region 3 also worked with the city of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania to stand up the first Federal Type I Pilot “walk-through” site in the country, located at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A FEMA staff member assists with logistics at a West Virginia community vaccination center.
PHILADELPHIA -- FEMA staff assists with the City Center community vaccination center.
Region 4 – Setting up Centers to do the Most Good for the Most Vulnerable
In March, FEMA Region 4 worked with state partners to open a community vaccination center at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The state-of-the-art facility is accessible by car, bus and rail and is uniquely located to support underserved people in the south and east sides of the metro area and has the space and teams needed to administer up to 6,000 doses a day.
The decision to locate a federal pilot community vaccination center in Atlanta was data-driven, using information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index and population data from the census. FEMA 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.
ATLANTA -- Sgt. Matthew Mattias prepares a syringe with the COVID-19 vaccine before administering to a patient in the community vaccination center at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
MIAMI -- FEMA Spanish Spokesperson Daniel Llargues talks to reporters at the community vaccination center about equitable vaccine distribution and the partnership between local, state and the federal government to run these centers nationwide.
Region 5 – Detroit Center Serves up to 6K Shots Per Day
FEMA Region 5 worked with state partners in the region to open community vaccination centers, including one at Detroit’s Ford Field, providing up to 6,000 shots per day, with a focus on equity in vaccine administration by reaching socially vulnerable, underrepresented populations.
In March, FEMA provided $36M to Wayne County for costs related to the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant funding will help Wayne County and the state of Michigan end this pandemic and expand COVID-19 vaccine availability to individuals who need them most.
CLEVELAND -- Acting Region 5 Regional Administrator Kevin Sligh speaks with a patient before she receives her COVID-19 vaccine at the Wolstein Center.
Region 6 – Working to Expedite Vaccinations Across the Southwest
FEMA Region 6 has opened pilot community vaccination centers in Houston, Arlington and Dallas, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
FEMA and its federal partners have been supporting states through the federal pilot community vaccination centers to assist, augment and expedite vaccinations across the United States.
HOUSTON -- COVID-19 vaccines delivered to a pilot community vaccination site in Houston.
Region 7 – Vaccinating the Community with up to 3K Shots a Day
FEMA Region 7 opened a pilot communication vaccination center in St. Louis, capable of administering 3,000 shots per day. Community vaccination centers are led by states and may be supported by federal government entities, including FEMA. State governments also determine vaccination priorities and procedures.
ST. LOUIS -- Vaccinations administered at the Dome community vaccination center.
Region 8 – Partnership with Indian Health Service Brings Vaccines to Tribal Communities
FEMA Region 8 continues making vaccinations available to communities in a way that has overcome multiple access barriers. The region partnered with Indian Health Service on mobile vaccinations units that offered refrigeration capabilities that enabled delivery of vaccinations in rural tribal communities, allowing 16- and 17-year-old tribal members access to vaccines.
SISSETON, S.D. -- A nurse with Indian Health Service provides information to the community.
Region 9 – More than 50 Percent of Adults Vaccinated on the Navajo Nation
The first two pilot federal community vaccination centers in the country were established in Los Angeles and Oakland, California. In eight weeks, 62% of individuals vaccinated at the California community vaccination centers were people of color.
With more than 150 tribal nations, Region 9 also deployed federal staff to clinics on the Navajo Nation. Last year, the Navajo Nation experienced the highest per capita rate of COVID-19 infection in the country, and this year the tribe became the first tribe, state or territory in the region to vaccinate more than 50% of adults.
LOS ANGELES -- A Spanish interpreter assists DOD staff at the Cal State LA community vaccination center.
Region 10 – Pilot Centers Operating in Oregon and Washington
FEMA Region 10 has opened pilot community vaccination centers in Central Point, Oregon and Yakima, Washington.
The federal government has provided critical support in the form of personnel, supplies and/or funding to help establish or expand state-led community vaccination centers nationwide.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- FEMA awarded over $11M to Alaska to reimburse the operation of COVID-19 testing sites in Anchorage, Alaska.