CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin recently announced more than $28 million in funding that will go towards COVID-19 vaccinations in the state.
A press release from Senator Manchin’s office stated that on Thursday, Manchin announced $28,436,500 for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to support and expand COVID-19 vaccine programs across West Virginia. The release stated that the award is funded through the American Rescue Plan and is distributed through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“As we continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure that every West Virginian who wants a COVID-19 vaccine can get one. This funding from the American Rescue Plan is great news for West Virginia and will put funds directly in the hands of local healthcare providers who can promote and distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to their own communities,” said Senator Manchin. “I am incredibly proud of West Virginia’s efforts to provide vaccinations to every West Virginian who wants one, and this funding will help expand those efforts throughout the Mountain State. I will continue to support health centers and healthcare providers as they work to administer and distribute COVID-19 vaccines to West Virginians.”
The release stated that HHS is working to expand access and ensure greater equity in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution by requiring 60% of the funds go directly to local health departments, community-based organizations and community health centers. Additionally, 75% of total funding must focus on programs to increase COVID-19 vaccine access and acceptance among racial and ethnic minority groups.
On Wednesday, Sen. Manchin announced that all Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded health centers and look-alike health centers in West Virginia have been invited to participate in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program, which allows the 31 health centers in West Virginia to order COVID-19 vaccine doses directly from the federal government, increasing West Virginia’s overall dose allocation.