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FEMA Supports Vaccine Distribution: COVID-19 Response Update

WASHINGTON -- FEMA has achieved President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s goal of establishing 100 federally supported community vaccination centers in 30 days and continues to stand up and supplement additional federally supported centers daily.

New federal pilot community vaccination centers opened this week in Florida, New York and Pennsylvania, and additional centers are set to open next week in Chicago and North Carolina. More than 450 community vaccination centers are now operating nationwide, along with 57 mobile vaccination centers serving communities across the nation.

FEMA continues providing live on-demand American Sign Language interpreters at all federally supported 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, including delivering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to three federal pilot community vaccination centers in California, Florida and Texas this week.

The agency is also supporting multiple disasters, including the disaster declarations for Texas and Oklahoma winter storms. FEMA has awarded more than $50.8 million to Texan survivors and over $223,000 to Oklahoman 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 deployed 2,008 staff across the nation to support the vaccination mission. The DHS Surge Capacity Force for vaccination support operations is composed of employees from other federal agencies to augment FEMA’s workforce, with 106 members deployed to support vaccination efforts.

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.

Community Vaccination Center Pilot Partnerships

The centers FEMA is piloting are selected based on data analysis, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) 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

FEMA continues providing resources to support our state, local, tribal and territorial partners in the ongoing effort to provide a vaccine to everyone who wants one. 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.

Ensuring Equitable Vaccine Access

FEMA is committed to the equitable distribution of vaccines. 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.

The U.S. Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) partnered with the CDC to launch 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 that serve a large volume of one of the following populations:

  • Individuals experiencing homelessness.
  • Public housing residents.
  • Migratory and seasonal agricultural workers.
  • Patients with limited English proficiency.

HRSA will regularly update the list of health centers participating in the program and additional health centers invited to participate

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.

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 US 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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