The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would run up to 100 sites that would offer the coronavirus vaccine under President Joe Biden’s plan.
According to the Washington Post, Biden announced his coronavirus plan on the first day in office and hopes to start operations within the next month. The outlet was able to obtain a copy of Biden’s draft “Concept of Operations,” including FEMA.
The plan’s mission will be to “provide federal support to existing or new community vaccination centers and mobile clinics across the country.”
Biden hopes to involve the federal government more directly—FEMA is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. This would take a large chunk of responsibility to distribute and administer the vaccine from state and local governments.
“FEMA … will mobilize thousands of clinical and non-clinical staff and contractors who will work hand-in-glove with the National Guard and state and local teams to assist, augment, and expedite the distribution and administration of coronavirus vaccines,” the FEMA document states.
The plan also says that if requested by states and other jurisdictions, “the U.S. Government would develop, equip, provide information management, and staff and operate the site.”
Furthermore, the vaccines provided at these sites will be from the vaccine supplies made available to each state and territory and some large cities. It will not be a new federal allocation source.
However, there will likely be a lack of vaccine supply through March, the Washington Post reported.
The Trump administration made quick progress in developing a half-dozen vaccine candidates, but in its closing days, it did not plan enough dosages when it came to getting immunizations off the ground. The issues arising ranged from workforce shortages to aging computer systems.
Not everyone favors Biden’s vaccine plan, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), and friend of Trump, called his anticipated camps “FEMA camps.”
“I can tell you, that’s not necessary in Florida,” he added.
FEMA, on the other hand, is on board. Anonymous FEMA officials discussed the plan with the outlet, one saying, “It’s amazing what we can do when we take the gloves off,” and that the project brought him to tears for the new sense of purpose.
The Biden administration is already in the process of contacting state leaders to consult with them about the federal assistance and how it could help their capacity.
The draft details four possible sizes for the federal administration sites.
One called the “Mega Model,” which would provide 6,000 doses a day while also requiring a large facility of at least 15,000 square feet. The smallest would administer 250 doses a day, with a smaller facility requirement of 2,500 square feet.