Biden administration to begin shipping Covid vaccine doses to community health centers

The White House will begin next week shipping doses of Covid-19 vaccine doses directly to federally qualified community health centers to expand outreach to traditionally underserved communities, White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced Tuesday.

"Equity is core to our strategy to put this pandemic behind us and equity means that we are reaching everyone, particularly those in underserved and rural communities," Zients said. "But we cannot do this effectively at the federal level without our partners on the state and local level sharing the same commitment to equity."

Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, chair of the White House's Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force, noted that there are more 1,300 community health centers across the country that serve almost 30 million people.

"Two-thirds of their patients live at or below the federal poverty line, and 60% of patients at community health centers identify as racial or ethnic minorities," she noted. "Equity is our North star here. This effort that focuses on direct allocation to the community health centers really is about connecting with those hard-to-reach populations across the country."

In the rollout of the program next week, the White House plans to send 1 million doses to 250 centers, Nunez-Smith said.

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