Rural Communities Will Get $1 Billion to Speed Up Vaccinations

May 4, 2021, 8:21 PM

Rural clinics and hospitals will receive almost $1 billion in funds from the Health and Human Services Department to improve Covid-19 testing and get more people vaccinated, the Biden administration announced Tuesday.

The announcement comes in tandem with President Joe Biden’s announcement of a new Covid-19 vaccination target of 70% of Americans receiving at least one shot by July 4.

About 1,700 small rural hospitals will each receive up to $230,000 to increase Covid-19 testing, a total of $398 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Rural health clinics will also receive $460 million to increase testing, with 4,600 clinics each receiving up to $100,000.

“Rural health providers are vital to ensure equity in COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and in making sure rural residents have the information about vaccine safety, especially for populations who are at an increased risk for COVID-19 infection or severe illness due to systemic health and social inequities and geographic isolation,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

Rural clinics will also be able to directly receive vaccines from the federal government, separate from the doses given to states and local jurisdictions. They can also apply for $100 million in grants to increase confidence in Covid-19 vaccines, improve health care in their communities, and educate on prevention and treatment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shira Stein in Washington at sstein@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bloombergindustry.com

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