HHS will dole out greater than $22 billion to states and native jurisdictions by Jan. 19 to help COVID-19 containment and lagging vaccination rollouts, the federal authorities introduced Wednesday.
Greater than $19 billion will help testing, contact tracing and different mitigation efforts in addition to $three billion to spice up vaccination campaigns.
“We’re making these billions in new funds accessible to states as rapidly as potential to help our mixed efforts to finish the pandemic,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar mentioned in ready remarks.
Federal officers hope to speed up inoculation efforts, which have fallen behind preliminary targets. As of Wednesday morning, solely 5.three million Individuals had obtained their first shot out of 17 million doses distributed, in line with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. The Trump administration deliberate to have 20 million doses shipped and distributed by the tip of December.
Suppliers have known as distribution plans “messy” as they’ve tracked shipments from state and native public well being departments. Some Pfizer-BioNTech vials have arrived frozen and a few have been thawed, requiring well being methods to rapidly adapt.