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President Joe Biden’s Administration Announces Historic $10 Billion Investment to Expand Access to COVID-19 Vaccines, Build Vaccine Confidence in Hardest-Hit, Highest-Risk Communities
Washington, D.C. – As part of President Joe Biden’s continued efforts to ensure COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccines reach all people and all communities, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing a series of actions to expand access to COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccines to the hardest-hit and highest-risk communities across the country.
With funding in large part from the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will invest nearly $10 billion to expand access to vaccines and better serve communities of color, rural areas, low-income populations, and other underserved communities in the COVID-19 Coronavirus response.
This funding will expand access to vaccines for vulnerable populations and increase vaccine confidence across the country.
Equity is at the center of the Administration’s COVID-19 Coronavirus response. President Biden has set up federally-run community vaccination centers in hard-hit areas; sent vaccines directly to local pharmacies and Community Health Centers that disproportionately serve vulnerable populations; launched hundreds of mobile clinics to meet people where they are; and created the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.
These actions are garnering initial results. In the past two months, 60 percent of doses at federally-run Community Vaccination sites were administered to people of color. In the federal retail pharmacy program, 45 percent of sites were located in zip codes with high social vulnerability scores – a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) index that uses 15 U.S. census variables to identify communities that may need support. Finally, over 65 percent of the federal doses allocated to Community Health Centers have been administered to people of color.
But there is more work to do. That is why we’re doubling down on the progress we are seeing through federal programs. Today’s announcements include:
$6 Billion Investment in Community Health Centers to Expand Access to Vaccines in Underserved Communities
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will provide funding starting in April to nearly 1,400 centers across the country. Community Health Centers serve 1 in 5 people living in rural communities. More than 91% of health center patients are individuals or families living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and more than 60% are racial or ethnic minorities.
For detailed information on how this funding is being distributed to health centers nationwide, including state-by-state breakdowns and an interactive health center funding map, please visit: https://bphc.hrsa.gov/program-opportunities/american-rescue-plan/awards.
Expanding Eligibility for Vaccines to Patients Served by Community Health Centers
This means approximately 83% of the adults seen at Community Health Centers participating in the federal Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program will now be eligible for vaccinations. This follows the President’s announcement that all adults will be eligible for vaccinations no later than May 1. Today’s news will enable more people in need to receive vaccine doses.
$3 Billion to Strengthen Vaccine Confidence
This funding will focus on reaching communities hit hardest by the pandemic, including those with a high social vulnerability index, minority communities, and rural areas. The awards will be made in early April and administered through CDC’s existing immunization cooperative agreement with 64 jurisdictions. More than half of this funding is being made available thanks to the American Rescue Plan.
Examples of new programs this funding to jurisdictions could support include:
Launch a Partnership to Vaccinate Dialysis Patients.
There are about 500,000 people in the U.S. who receive regular dialysis treatment. Through this partnership, the Administration will provide vaccines directly to dialysis treatment centers so patients who typically go three times a week for treatment are able to get vaccinated at their place of care.
$330 Million to Invest in Community Health Worker
For example, this funding could support nurses who are serving hard-hit areas or local community health workers conducting outreach efforts to make those at highest risk aware of vaccination opportunities.
This effort will benefit populations with increased prevalence of COVID-19 Coronavirus and disproportionately impacted by long-standing health disparities related to sociodemographic characteristics, geographic regions, and economic strata.
TopicsAmerican Rescue Plan, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccine, FEMA, Joe Biden, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. President, Vaccinations, Washington D.C.
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