The Biden administration will allocate 1 million COVID-19 vaccines to group well being facilities nationwide in an effort to vaccinate hard-hit and difficult-to-reach populations. In a White House briefing Tuesday, Jeff Zients, COVID-19 response coordinator, mentioned the brand new program will launch subsequent week with federally-qualified well being facilities.
“Community well being facilities present major care providers in underserved areas, reaching nearly 30 million individuals,” Zients mentioned. “Under this new program, we are going to start straight sending vaccine provide to group well being facilities, enabling them to vaccinate the individuals they serve.”
Zients mentioned the facilities are a key a part of the federal authorities’s technique for an inclusive response. He later strongly dismissed an concept that vaccine fairness will lavatory down effectivity, saying, partially, “effectivity and fairness are each central to what we’re doing and I do not see any trade-off between the 2.”
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, chair of the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, mentioned this system will contain a phased begin and can scale up over time. She mentioned a subset of the facilities can begin ordering vaccines as quickly as subsequent week.
Centers serving over 2,000 sufferers aged 65 and older, with massive inhabitants sizes and talent to deal with elevated capability round vaccine storage and staffing had been focused within the preliminary ramp up of this system. This includes a mixture of city and rural facilities.
“Ultimately on this preliminary program section, we plan to achieve 250 group well being facilities,” she added, noting that there are greater than 1,300 facilities spanning throughout the U.S., with two-thirds of sufferers under the federal poverty line, and 60% of sufferers figuring out as racial or ethnic minorities.
Of the 1 million dose allocation, half of the doses will likely be designated as first-doses, and the opposite 500,000 will likely be second doses, Nunez-Smith mentioned. Through this system, the Biden administration is making an attempt to achieve homeless populations, agricultural and migrant employees, residents in public housing and people with restricted English proficiency.
In this system’s preliminary section, there will likely be one group well being middle included in every state and territory. As vaccine provide will increase, vaccines will likely be accessible to all 1,400 facilities in the event that they select to take part, Nunez-Smith mentioned. The program introduced Tuesday joins different efforts like cellular clinics and the federal pharmacy program.