Initiative Makes $350M Available to Increase COVID-19 Vaccinations
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is making $350 million available to increase COVID-19 vaccinations at Health Resources and Services Administration-supported health facilities.
The funding will support health centers administering updated COVID-19 vaccines through mobile, drive-up, walk-up or community-based vaccination events, including working with community-based organizations and others to increase the administration of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Community health centers save lives,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
“We will continue to reach, vaccinate, and protect our most vulnerable people across the country working together with community health centers and community-based organizations,” he continued.
“We have seen COVID infections increase in prior winters, and it does not have to be that way this year. We now have updated COVID-19 vaccines to protect communities against the omicron strain. Our message is simple: Don’t wait. Get an updated COVID-19 vaccine this fall. It’s safe and effective,” Becerra said.
The Expanding COVID-19 Vaccination initiative will provide resources directly to health centers throughout the country to increase COVID-19 vaccinations this winter by addressing the unique access barriers experienced by the underserved populations health centers serve.
HRSA anticipates these efforts will also increase flu and childhood vaccinations through combined vaccination events.
All HRSA-funded health centers, as well as health center look-alikes that received American Rescue Plan funding, will be eligible. These funds build on the previous investments made to HRSA-funded health centers to combat COVID-19 and will help even more Americans have access to updated COVID-19 vaccines.
To date, health centers have administered more than 22 million vaccines in underserved communities across the country, of which 70% went to patients of racial and ethnic minorities.
In 2021, HRSA-funded health centers provided care for one in five residents in rural areas and one in 11 people nationwide. One in three health center patients are living in poverty and nearly two-thirds are racial/ethnic minorities.
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