WASHINGTON — The Biden administration will boost the supply of Covid-19 vaccines sent to states by 5 percent over the next week and begin shipping doses directly to community health centers that target low-income people.
Since President Joe Biden took office, the number of doses being sent to states has increased by 28 percent to 11 million doses a week as Pfizer and Moderna ramp up production, White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeffrey Zients said.
“It’s the manufacturers doing a good job and the president and the team doing all we can to support that manufacturing,” Zients said. The Biden administration announced last week it would use the Defense Production Act to get Pfizer additional equipment to further increase production.
In addition to doses being sent to state governments, federal officials will begin shipping 1 million vaccines directly to 250 community health centers, which serve hard-to-reach groups such as homeless people, migrant workers and public housing residents, said Marcella Nunez-Smith, who is leading Biden’s Covid-19 Equity Task Force.
“Equity is our North Star here,” she said. “This effort that focuses on direct allocation to the community health centers really is about connecting with those hard-to-reach populations across the country.”
People of color have been getting vaccinated at a lower rate than white people, state and federal data indicate. Biden administration officials have attributed that to a range of barriers, such as lesser access to health care in minority communities.
As of Feb. 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 32 million first doses were administered and more than 9 million people were fully vaccinated.