FEMA Obligates $2.5M to USVI for Costs of COVID-19 Vaccinations

A vial of the Pfizer COVID vaccine provides five to seven doses. (Photo by Larissa Aumand)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has obligated $2.5 million to the United States Virgin Islands for costs related to the COVID-19 vaccine mission.

The award provides $2,506,200 in federal funding to the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health to reimburse costs associated with emergency protective measures taken by the territory to store, handle, transport, distribute and administer vaccines to reduce the spread the of the virus.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic created an immediate threat to the health and safety of the general public requiring emergency response and protective measures throughout the USVI.  In response to the event, the Virgin Islands is distributing and administering COVID-19 vaccines to its population via the Vaccine Command Center and a network of private healthcare providers, publicly operated vaccination administration centers and publicly supported vaccination administration centers.

The Vaccine Command Center represents more than 32 territorial facilities. The center took actions to establish the vaccine sites, including but not limited to staffing services, purchasing equipment and materials for the expansion of facility capacity and establishing temporary facilities, the purchase of supplies, transportation and distribution of personal protective equipment to staff.

Grants for emergency protective measures are funded through FEMA’s Public Assistance program, which reimburses communities for actions taken in the immediate response and during recovery from a disaster. Eligible applicants include states, federally recognized tribal governments, U.S. territories, local governments and certain private non-profit organizations.