Health

HHS $350 million COVID-19 vaccine initiative


The Health Resources and Services Administration will distribute $350 million to fund COVID-19 vaccination efforts at community health centers, Department of Health and Human Services agencies. announced on Tuesday.

The announcement comes a week after President Joe Biden asked Congress for the third time to provide more funding for COVID-19 to prepare for winter outbreaks, accelerate research into long-lasting COVID, develop develop new vaccines and treatments, and facilitate the transfer of vaccines and treatments to the commercial market. Conference failure to deliver the amount Biden had requested earlier because of objections from Republican lawmakers.

“These funds will ensure that people living in underserved communities have access to an up-to-date COVID-19 vaccine this winter through community vaccination events run by health professionals. healthcare providers and the organizations they trust,” HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson said in a press release.

HRSA-funded community health centers and those that have received American Rescue Plan funding are eligible. The agency is encouraging medical centers to extend working hours and off-site vaccination sites in addition to expanding transportation and translation services.

The national COVID-19 vaccination campaign has stalled due to high demand when the shots were first made available to the public last year.

As of November 15, more than 228 million people had received their first two shots, and 35.3 million people 5 years of age and older had received two boosters, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. . About 80% of the population received at least one dose, while 11.3% had all available shots, including the most recent booster. On November 15, about 40,000 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 compared with 1.6 million on the same day in 2021.

Nationwide, 280,711 new COVID-19 cases were reported last week, and hospitalizations were up 1.7 percent from seven days earlier, the CDC reported.

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