Washington receives $275 Million in vaccine distribution funding

BOTHELL, Wash. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is awarding the state of Washington $275 million in public assistance grants to aid COVID-19 vaccination efforts statewide, it announced on Friday.

Using these funds, FEMA expects Washington state health officials to ” store, handle, transport, distribute, and administer the COVID-19 vaccine.”

In the press release, FEMA officials comment on the Washington Department of Health’s efforts in the early-going of this vaccination process. The DOH initially used contracts for the setup and costs of vaccine distribution statewide. Now, the Washington DOH is leading the charge in coordinating mass vaccination sites and vaccines at pharmacies, hospitals and private clinics statewide.

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Half of the grant money is being expedited by the federal government to supplement the costs associated with the state’s proactive vaccination efforts. Much of this is a reimbursement for the first 90 days of Washington’s statewide vaccination efforts.

FEMA Region 10 Acting Regional Administrator Vincent J. Maykovich knows the importance of supporting vaccination efforts in the first state to report a COVID-19 case in early 2020.

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“These funds will support our Washington partners’ extraordinary efforts to accelerate and expand access to COVID19 vaccinations across the state,” Maykovich said.

Vaccinating the public is an absolute necessity that comes with a high price tag. Between personal protective equipment (PPE), coolers, freezers, temperature monitoring devices, portable vaccine storage units, transportation, workers’ financial compensation and emergency medical supplies, the bill keeps racking up for Washington state.

Washington isn’t the only state facing this issue either, which is why FEMA is streamlining its resources and getting supplementary grants to states as soon as possible.

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