Biden-Harris Administration Announces Additional Vaccine Supply, FQHC Vaccine Program
This week, the Biden-Harris Administration announced several key developments in the federal government’s response efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, we highlight these activities:
- Purchase of Additional Vaccines: On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD) purchased an additional 100 million doses each of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Inc. and Moderna, Inc. to help meet demand for COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. The orders placed this week increase the total amount of vaccines purchased from the two companies to 600 million doses. Each company is delivering 300 million doses in regular increments through the end of July 2021.
- FQHC Vaccine Program: The Biden-Harris Administration announced that beginning next week, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) throughout the country will begin directly receiving COVID-19 vaccine supply. The program will be incrementally implemented and will complement existing jurisdictional efforts to provide COVID-19 vaccines. An initial 250 Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)-funded FQHCs will receive vaccine supply next week. Initial health centers chosen for the first phase of this program serve a large volume of disproportionately impacted populations, including individuals experiencing homelessness, public housing residents, migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, and patients with limited English proficiency. The program is anticipated to expand to the more than 1,400 HRSA-funded health centers with over 13,000 sites as vaccine supply increases. Additional information on the program from HRSA is available here.
- Increased Weekly Vaccine Supply: Building on announcements from previous weeks, the Biden-Harris Administration will increase overall, weekly vaccine supply to states, tribes, and territories to 11 million doses nationwide. This increase represents a 28 percent increase since the Biden-Harris took office on January 20. The Administration is committing to maintaining the 11 million weekly doses as the minimum supply level for the next three weeks.
- Equity Task Force: President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris this week announced membership of its COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force that is tasked with providing recommendations for addressing health inequities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and for preventing such inequities in the future. The task force is chaired by Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith and will involve 12 task force members representing a wide array of backgrounds and expertise, racial and ethnic groups, and other important populations. Notably, Mayra Alvarez, President of The Children’s Partnership, a California advocacy organization working to advance child health equity, and Andrew Imparato, Executive Director of Disability Rights California, were named to the task force. Additional information, including a listing of task force members, is available here.