health

HHS announces $22 billion for 50 states to expand testing, contact tracing and vaccine distribution


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had pledged to increase funding to states and territories to expand COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts.

On Wednesday evening, the agency announced it was committing $22 billion to jurisdictions by January 19.

This includes funds for $19 billion testing, contact tracing and surveillance systems but just $3 billlion for coronavirus immunizations.

It comes on the same day the U.S. reported 3,775 deaths to due to the virus, the highest single-day record since the pandemic began. 

On Wednesday, the HHS announced it would be distributing $22 billion to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and major U.S. cities to help curb the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured: A healthcare worker administers a Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the John Knox Village Continuing Care Retirement Community in Pompano Beach, Florida, January 6

On Wednesday, the HHS announced it would be distributing $22 billion to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and major U.S. cities to help curb the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured: A healthcare worker administers a Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the John Knox Village Continuing Care Retirement Community in Pompano Beach, Florida, January 6

It comes on the same day the U.S. reported 3,775 deaths to due to the virus, the highest single-day record since the pandemic began. Pictured: New York City residents wait in a line outside a COVID-19 testing site through NYC Health + Hospitals in Queens, January 3

It comes on the same day the U.S. reported 3,775 deaths to due to the virus, the highest single-day record since the pandemic began. Pictured: New York City residents wait in a line outside a COVID-19 testing site through NYC Health + Hospitals in Queens, January 3

‘On top of the substantial support we’ve already provided, the funding bill signed by President Trump in December has billions of dollars in new funding for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations,’ HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. 

‘We’re making these billions in new funds available to states as quickly as possible to support our combined efforts to end the pandemic.’ 

Of the $22 billion, approximately $19 billion is being allocated through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity cooperative agreement. 

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Funds will directed towards coronavirus PCR and rapid testing, contract tracing, surveillance and containment measures.

All 50 states are receiving money based on population ranging from about $1.7 billion for California to around $33.3 million for Wyoming

In addition, the District of Columbia, US territories and five major cities – New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia – will all be awarded funds.

The cities are all among the worst hit during the pandemic with xx and xx.  

The remaining $3 billion Is being be made available through the CDC’s Immunization and Vaccines for Children cooperative agreement.  

Awards will help support ‘COVID-19 vaccination activities’ such as shipping, storing and distributing jabs to healthcare systems across the country. 

Similarly, money is being directed on a population-based basis with the most being $357 million for California and the least being $5 million for Wyoming.

The District of Columbia as well as New York City, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia  and San Antonio will also receive funds.  

About $19 billion is being directing to increase coronavirus testing, contract tracing, surveillance and containment measures

About $19 billion is being directing to increase coronavirus testing, contract tracing, surveillance and containment measures

The remaining $3 billion will be to help states ship, store and distribute COVID-19 vaccines to healthcare systems

The remaining $3 billion will be to help states ship, store and distribute COVID-19 vaccines to healthcare systems

It comes at the national vaccine rollout has been much slower than expected with only 5.3 million people across the U.S. receiving their first dose of either Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That figure is well short of the 20 million people the Trump administration had hoped to immunized by New Year’s Eve.       

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‘This funding is another timely investment that will strengthen our nation’s efforts to stop the COVID-19 pandemic in America,’ said CDC Director Dr Robert Redfield in a statement. 

‘Particularly now, it is crucial that states and communities have the resources they need to conduct testing, and to distribute and administer safe, high-quality COVID-19 vaccines safely and equitably.’ 



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