By Noah Weiland
President Biden on Thursday dramatically expanded the ways Americans can get vaccinated and the pool of people can administer shots, moves enabled in part by new funding in the American Rescue Plan. The changes, he pledged in a prime-time address to the nation, would mean “no more searching day and night for an appointment for you and your loved ones.”
Here’s a look at what the Biden administration is doing to offer more access.
Centralizing how you can find a vaccine.
By May 1, when Mr. Biden directed that states should have opened up eligibility for every adult in the United States, the federal government will debut a vaccine finder website that guides people to sites near them offering shots.
By the same date, the administration will launch a call center with a 1-800 number to assist those who might not have internet access in finding a vaccine.
For states that sponsor vaccine appointment websites, the administration will assign staff in technical support jobs to help improve the sites’ performance.
Opening more vaccination sites
In the next six weeks, the administration will send vaccines to up to 700 more community health centers that typically serve lower-income patients, bringing the total number of those sites serving as vaccination centers to 950.
More than 20,000 pharmacies will now administer the shots as part of the federal government’s pharmacy vaccine program, double the number that have so far participated.
The administration is more than doubling the number of federally run mass vaccination sites, settings that the White House said would now be able to administer hundreds of thousands of shots a day under the aegis of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the military and other agencies. At least 4,000 more active duty troops are to be deployed to help the effort.
Expanding the number of people who can administer vaccines
Beginning Friday, a dramatically larger pool of people trained in injections will be eligible to give Covid-19 shots, including dentists, medical students, midwives, optometrists, paramedics, podiatrists and veterinarians.
The Department of Health and Human Services is creating a website for people interested in volunteering to give shots that will help determine if they are eligible to do so.
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