Arlington County will receive more than $2 million for COVID-19 vaccine operations, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Tuesday.
The award of $2,283,147.93 will help with the County’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, including the providing supplies and commodities for personal protective equipment (PPE), other equipment, and supplies required for storing, handling, distributing/transporting, and administering COVID-19 vaccines. This funding will help ensure the County is equipped for rapid, widespread vaccine distribution once more doses are available.
Governor Ralph Northam’s Major Disaster Declaration to help Virginia respond to COVID-19 means that localities are eligible for FEMA funding to support vaccine distribution. Further, recent executive actions from the new presidential administration mean more efficient funding disbursement:
- Funding is provided to localities in advance, rather than through reimbursement, as in previous models. This allows them to plan more efficiently for vaccine operations, including the acquisition of supplies and staff.
- 100 percent of costs are provided in advance based on projected expenses, preventing the need to dip into local tax reserves to fund operations.
Arlington County is the first of the Commonwealth’s localities to apply for—and receive—this award.
“We’re extremely grateful for the close coordination with our state and federal partners that allows us to augment our COVID-19 operations,” said Dr. Aaron Miller, Director of the Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management. “We plan to use this funding for a range of vaccine operational expenses, including vaccine storage and equipment, PPE, staffing, and enhanced community messaging. This includes additional phone support services on our 703-228-7999 line to pre-register people for the vaccine as they become eligible and to proactively address residents’ questions and concerns.”