Biden says he'll direct FEMA to set up COVID-19 vaccination sites across the country to speed up distribution

  • President-elect Joe Biden announced during a Friday speech that he will instruct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to build facilities to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to the American public. 
  • Biden said his administration will build 100 federally-funded community vaccination centers, including in school gyms and sports stadiums, by the end of his first month in office.
  • He also promised to set up mobile vaccination units to offer vaccines to "hard-hit and hard to reach communities" in urban and rural settings. 
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President-elect Joe Biden announced during a Friday speech that he will instruct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to build facilities to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to the American public. 

Biden said his administration will build 100 federally-funded community vaccination centers, including in school gyms and sports stadiums, by the end of his first month in office. He also promised to set up mobile vaccination units to offer vaccines to "hard-hit and hard to reach communities" in urban and rural settings. 

The president-elect and his team have criticized the slower than expected pace of vaccine distribution under the current administration, and Biden has pledged to vaccinate 100 million people in his first 100 days. He emphasized that the vaccine effort will pay particular attention to marginalized groups that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. 

"We've already had productive conversations with bipartisan groups of county officials, mayors, governors, tribal leaders, leaders of the private sector, who shared their ideas with us about this effort," Biden said. "As we build them, we're going to make sure it's done equitably." 

Read more: Biden just unveiled his $400 billion vaccination, testing, and public health plan to tackle the coronavirus. Here are the 10 key promises.

On Thursday, Biden unveiled his $1.9 trillion "American Rescue Plan", which includes more than $400 billion to help stem the spread of the coronavirus. About $20 billion would be designated for the national vaccination program. Biden will also use the Defense Production Act to "maximize the manufacture of vaccine and vaccine supplies for the country."

"Here's the deal: The more people we vaccinate, the faster we do it, the sooner we can save lives and put this pandemic behind us and get back to our lives and loved ones," Biden said during his primetime speech on Thursday night. 

 

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