New President – New Plan

Angie SzumlinskiAnnouncements, News

President Joseph R. Biden has unveiled a plan to jump-start the nation’s faltering COVID-19 vaccine effort that will include establishing mass vaccination sites and mobile vaccine clinics around the nation. The plan calls for a $20 billion investment in a national vaccination program. According to the CDC, 31 million COVID-19 doses have been distributed and 12.2 million have been administered as of January 15, 2021, including 1.3 million to residents of long-term care facilities.

President Biden outlined five major goals of the vaccine program:

  • Work with states to expand eligibility to anyone age 65 or older and to essential workers while continuing to vaccinate healthcare workers
  • Set up thousands of new, federally supported mass vaccination centers at gyms, stadiums, and other locations, with 100 set up by the end of his first month in office; the sites would be supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which will mobilize thousands of clinical and non-clinical staff and contractors to work with state and local teams and the National Guard; Biden is seeking to have the federal government cover 100% of states’ National Guard deployment costs and fully cover the states’ costs for Medicaid recipients
  • Deploy mobile vaccination clinics to hard-to-reach, underserved urban and rural areas, relying in part on community-based physicians
  • “Jump-start” a federal partnership with pharmacies to increase capacity at chains and independent outlets
  • Use the full strength of the federal government to ramp up supply, which means using the Defense Production Act to help ensure the uninterrupted production and delivery of vaccine and vaccine supplies, with an aim of releasing most vaccine supply when available, while keeping a small reserve to cover unforeseen shortages or delays.

The President also vowed that “equity is central to our COVID response” and that people of color, with disabilities, and seniors would not be left behind. Stay the course, stay well, get vaccinated, and stay tuned!