More Than 10 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Administered by Community Health Centers
61% Have Gone to Racial and Ethnic Minorities
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (@HHSGov) announced that Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program-funded health centers and Health Center Program look-alikes (LALs) have administered more than 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses nationwide—with 61% provided to racial and ethnic minorities. Community health centers, which largely serve the nation’s underserved and most vulnerable communities, have been central to President Biden’s commitment to ensuring equity and access in the COVID-19 response and vaccination program.
Critical to this effort has been the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program, a collaboration between HRSA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provides a direct allocation of COVID-19 vaccines to HRSA Health Center Program-supported health centers in addition to COVID-19 vaccines that health centers might receive through their states. This program started on February 9 with an initial cohort of 25 health centers, and expanded in less than two months to include all HRSA Health Center Program-funded health centers and LALs on April 6, increasing its reach to 1,470 health centers nationwide.
“Our nation’s health centers have played an essential role in achieving the vaccination goals President Biden has set for this country,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The medical professionals and staff at these centers have built trusted relationships in underserved communities, making them key to ensuring we reach hard-hit communities with vaccines. They have worked tirelessly and creatively to deliver more than 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, and are determined to raise the vaccination numbers even higher. This achievement exemplifies the vital role they play in serving those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
HRSA Health Center Program-funded health centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that deliver affordable, accessible, quality, and cost-effective primary health care to nearly 30 million patients each year. Over 91% of health center patients are individuals or families living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and nearly 63% are racial or ethnic minorities. Health centers across the nation are playing vital roles in supporting local community responses to the COVID-19 public health emergency.