Biden Administration to Ship Covid Vaccine to Community Health Centers

A sign is shown at a COVID-19 vaccine site in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.

A sign is shown at a COVID-19 vaccine site in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. AP Photo/Haven Daley

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

The White House also announced it will increase the weekly allocation of coronavirus vaccines to 11 million doses.

The Biden administration will boost the number of Covid-19 vaccines distributed to states next week to 11 million doses and begin allocating a portion of the weekly shipments directly to community health centers, officials said Tuesday.

The move is meant to help state and local governments more equitably distribute the coronavirus vaccine to underserved or rural communities, said White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients. Last week, states received 10.5 million doses

At least one federally qualified community health center in each state will begin receiving allocations of the vaccine next week, and the goal for the initial phase of the project is to distribute 1 million vaccines to 250 centers, said Marcella Nunez-Smith, the head of the administration’s Health Equity Task Force. 

The centers serve about 30 million people across the country and about two-thirds of their patients live at or below the federal poverty line.

“This effort that focuses on direct allocation to the community health centers really is about connecting with those hard-to-reach populations across the country,” said Nunez-Smith, noting that center patients include homeless individuals, public housing residents, and migrant workers.

The White House has sought to increase the number of vaccines shipped to states each week, from 8.6 million doses during President Biden’s first week in office to 11 million doses next week.

In addition to setting aside allotments of vaccine for community health centers, the federal government will also set aside 1 million doses of vaccine for pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program—a previously announced public-private partnership with 21 national pharmacy chains.

Andrea Noble is a staff correspondent with Route Fifty.

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