President-elect Joe Biden plans to add thousands of community vaccination sites, including pharmacies, across the United States to combat the CCP virus. He is also seeking to establish 100 federally-supported vaccination centers by the end of his first month in office.
“If we’re getting more people vaccinated, then we need more vaccination sites. That’s why we will harness the full resources of the federal government to establish thousands of community vaccination centers,” the former vice president said Friday evening.
He said that on his first day in office, he will instruct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to start setting up the centers.
“By the end of our first month in office, we will have 100 federally-supported centers across the nation that will ultimately vaccinate millions of people,” he said.
Biden’s announcement on Friday in Delaware outlined a five-point plan for distributing the vaccine. It follows the Thursday unveiling of a $1.9 trillion legislative proposal to combat the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
Biden said that the vaccination centers will be places that are convenient and accessible such as school gyms, sports stadiums, and community centers.
“We’ve already had productive conversations with bipartisan groups of county officials, mayors, governors, tribal leaders, and leaders in the private sector who shared their ideas about this effort,” he said. “And as we build them, we will make sure it’s done equitably.”
“We’ll make sure there are vaccination centers in communities hit hardest by the pandemic, in Black and Latino communities, and rural communities as well,” he noted. “Within the first month of our administration, we will deploy mobile clinics. We will partner with community health centers, and local primary care doctors to offer vaccines to hard-to-reach communities in cities, small towns, and rural communities.”
The Biden administration will mobilize thousands of clinical and non-clinical professionals to staff the vaccination centers. “Think of the people we deploy in natural disasters, experts at FEMA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, our military medical personnel, and our first responders,” Biden said.
“Additionally we will expand the pool of medical professionals, including retired healthcare workers, who can administer the vaccine and to ensure we have enough vaccinators to meet the nation’s needs,” he said. “And as governors of both parties have asked, our administration will reimburse states 100 percent when their National Guard is deployed in the fight against COVID-19.”
The administration will help states cover the costs of personnel, vaccinators, and administrative staff, as well as supplies such dry ice, laptops, and protective equipment, he noted.
The Biden administration will also “fully activate pharmacies across the country to get the vaccines into more arms as quickly as possible.” Biden said his administration will work directly with both independent and chain pharmacies and enable millions of Americans to make an appointment to get their shots quickly.
He added that his administration will use the Defense Production Act to continue speed up vaccine development, and then release the “vast majority” of the vaccines when they are available, and retaining a small reserve for unforeseen shortages.
Masks will be mandated for federal workers, on federal property, as well as on interstate travel such as trains and planes, and the Biden administration will work with states to mandate masks in cities and states, Biden said.
“I know masks have become a partisan issue. But it’s a patriotic act. The experts say that by wearing a mask from now until April, we will save more than 50,000 lives,” he said. “Quite frankly, it was shocking to see members of Congress, while the Capitol was under siege by a deadly mob of thugs, refuse to wear a mask while they were in a secure location.”
“For God’s sake, wear a mask for yourself, for your loved ones, for your country,” he urged. “These are life and death matters. We need you to stick with the hand washing, social distancing, and avoid indoor gatherings with people outside your household.”