President Biden yesterday announced sweeping measures to get Americans vaccinated and fight the spread of COVID-19 amid an upsurge of the Delta variant. The COVID-19 action plan provides resources to help care for COVID-19 patients and test for the virus, including the distribution of 25 million rapid testing kits to Community Health Centers and food banks. The action plan also uses regulatory powers and other actions to substantially boost the number of Americans covered by vaccination requirements, including staff within all Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities.
“Community Health Centers have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 for the past 19 months, completing 15 million vaccinations and caring for non-acute patients to alleviate the burdens on overwhelmed hospitals,” said Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO of NACHC. “Throughout this battle, the Biden Administration has been with us every step of the way with resources and support. We are grateful for today’s announcement of the 25 million rapid testing kits that will be distributed to 1,400 health centers and food banks across the country. Health center staff are exhausted and weary from their work on the front lines, but these immediate resources help us stop the spread in underserved communities.
Since the direct allocation of vaccines to health centers began in late December, health centers’ ground strategy has been to build confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine, going to where patients are, recognizing the barriers to vaccine trust and countering misinformation. Health centers stand ready to work with the Biden Administration in continuing these efforts as vaccine trust ambassadors. We also strongly urge all health centers and their staff to comply and get vaccinated in the interest of public health. We all want to bring an end to the pandemic, save lives, and help our economy recover. Get vaccinated.”
Established in 1971, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) serves as the national voice for America’s Health Centers and as an advocate for health care access for the medically underserved and uninsured.