Biden Administration announces increased vaccine supply, Federal Retail Pharmacy Program launch, and FEMA reimbursement to states

Feb. 3, 2021

As the U.S. surpasses 26 million COVID-19 infections, President Joe Biden announced steps to implement a comprehensive national strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including increasing the vaccine supply to states, tribes, and territories to 10.5 million doses nationwide beginning this week, as well as increasing funding to jurisdictions to vaccinate more people, according to a news release from the White House.

·        Expanding Vaccine Supply: The Biden-Harris Administration will increase overall, weekly vaccine supply to states, Tribes, and territories to 10.5 million doses nationwide beginning this week. This is a 22 percent increase since taking office on January 20. The Administration is committing to maintaining this as the minimum supply level for the next three weeks, and we will continue to work with manufacturers in their efforts to ramp up supply. 

·         Launching First Phase of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination: Starting on February 11, those eligible for the vaccine will have the opportunity to be vaccinated at select pharmacies across the country through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination. This program is a public-private partnership with 21 national pharmacy partners and networks of independent pharmacies representing over 40,000 pharmacy locations nationwide. It is a key component of the Administration’s National Strategy to expand equitable access to vaccines for the American public. 

As the first phase of this program launches, select retail pharmacies nationwide will receive limited vaccine supply to vaccinate priority groups at no cost. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked with states to select initial pharmacy partners based on a number of factors including their ability to reach some of the populations most at risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Americans should check their pharmacy’s website to find out if vaccine is available as supply will be limited in the initial phase. 

Some vaccine participants will include Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, Kroger, Publix, Costco, Albertsons, Hy-Vee, Meijer, H-E-B, Food Lion, Giant Food, Stop & Shop, Winn-Dixie, Topco, CPESN USA, GeriMed, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, AmerisourceBergen, Health Mart, Innovatix, LeaderNET, Medicine Shoppe, Cardinal Health’s PSAOs, and Managed Healthcare Associates. 

·         Increasing Reimbursements to States: President Biden directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fully reimburse states for the cost of National Guard Personnel and emergency costs and now is announcing retroactively reimbursing states fully for FEMA-eligible services – including masks, gloves, emergency feeding actions, sheltering at risk populations, and mobilization of the National Guard – back dated to the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020. This reimbursement is estimated to total $3-5 billion and is only a small share of the resources that states need to fight this pandemic — including for testing, genomic sequencing, and mass vaccination centers. To fully support states, Tribes, and territories’ needs to contain the pandemic and vaccinate their populations, President Biden is requesting $350 billion from Congress in American Rescue Plan.

The White House has the fact sheet.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.