On November 5, 2021, in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that children ages 5-11 receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that its Public Assistance program will reimburse 100% of eligible costs associated with administering vaccines to children and adults until December 31, 2021. The funding will continue after December 31, but the reimbursement percentage may change. Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) operating medical facilities are eligible for this FEMA funding that will be provided on a reimbursement basis for eligible vaccination activities, including:
- Vaccination facilities including community vaccination centers, mass vaccination sites and mobile vaccinations including necessary security and other services for sites.
- Medical and support staff including contracted and temporary hires to administer vaccinations.
- Training and technical assistance specific for individuals storing, handling, distributing, and administering of COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Personal protective equipment, other equipment, supplies, and materials required for storing, handling, distributing, and administering COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Transportation support such as refrigerated trucks and transport security, for vaccine distribution as well as reasonable transportation to and from the vaccination sites for children and families with limited or no mobility to get to a vaccine site.
- Onsite infection control measures and emergency medical care for children and families at vaccination sites.
- Communication efforts that keep the public informed including public messaging campaigns, public service announcements, flyers, newspaper advertisements, websites, translation services, in-person community engagement, and call centers or websites to assist with scheduling appointments or answering questions for children and their families.
NCUIH worked with FEMA’s Public Assistance Division early in the pandemic to get questions answered about the agency’s available resources for UIOs and open the lines of communication with FEMA officials.