Biden-Harris Administration Announces $10 Billion Investment to Expand Access to COVID-19 Vaccines
This week, the Biden-Harris Administration announced it will invest nearly $10 billion to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines and better serve communities of color, rural areas, low-income populations, and other underserved communities. Below, significant components of the sizable investment are detailed:
- $6 Billion for Community Health Center Vaccines: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will invest more than $6 billion from the recently enacted American Rescue Plan into community health centers nationwide to expand COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, and treatment for vulnerable populations, deliver preventive and primary health services to people at higher risk for COVID-19, and expand health centers’ operations capacity during the pandemic and beyond. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will provide funding starting in April to nearly 1,400 centers across the country. Additional information on the funding is available here.
- Expanded Eligibility: Community health centers participating in the federal Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program are now invited to expand eligibility to populations in the ACIP’s 1C eligibility tier, which includes frontline essential workers and all persons 16 years and older with high-risk medical conditions.
- $3 Billion to Strengthen Vaccine Confidence: HHS, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will invest $3 billion to support local efforts to increase vaccine uptake and equity. This funding will go directly to states, territories, and some large cities, enabling them to support local health departments and community-based organizations in launching new programs and initiatives intended to increase vaccine access, acceptance, and uptake. The awards will be made in early April and administered through CDC’s existing immunization cooperative agreement with 64 jurisdictions.
- Vaccines for Dialysis Patients: The Biden-Harris Administration announced a new partnership with dialysis clinics to provide COVID-19 vaccines to people receiving dialysis and health care personnel in outpatient dialysis clinics. Vaccines will be provided directly to dialysis treatment centers under this new partnership. A CDC press statement on this initiative is available here.
- $330 Million for Community Health Workers: HHS, through CDC, will provide $300 million to jurisdictions for community health worker services to support COVID-19 prevention and control, and an additional $32 million for training, technical assistance, and evaluation. This funding will be used to address disparities in access to COVID-19-related services and will help address factors that increase risk of severe COVID-19 illness. A CDC press statement on this initiative is available here.
Additional information from the Biden-Harris Administration is available here.
In addition to the above announcements, President Biden this week updated his Administration’s vaccination goal. Recall, the Biden Administration previously set a goal of administering 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses within the Administration’s first 100 days. The Administration met that goal on its 58th day and has now set a goal of 200 million vaccines by the Administration’s first 100 days. The President’s announcement is available here.