WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLBT) - Mississippi is getting nearly $30 million in federal funds to help expand vaccine efforts to communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 virus.
Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it had awarded the state $29.7 million to bolster the state’s “broad-based vaccine distribution, access and administration efforts” in minority communities.
Funds are being made available through the American Rescue Plan and the Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.
“We are doing everything we can to expand access to vaccinations,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said. “Millions of Americans are getting vaccinated every day, but we need to ensure that we are reaching those in the communities hit hardest by this pandemic.
“This investment will support state and local health departments and community-based organizations as they work on the front lines to increase vaccine access, acceptance and uptake,” she said.
According to the release, 75 percent of the $29.7 million must be used on programs specifically designed to increase vaccine access, acceptance and uptake “among racial and ethnic minority communities.”
Additionally, 60 percent of the funds must go to support local health departments, community-based organizations, and community health leaders.
Early on, Mississippi struggled to vaccinate members of the African American community. However, in recent weeks, the number of Black people receiving shots in arms has increased.
As of April 5, 31 percent of all shots administered in the Magnolia State had gone to African Americans, up from less than 20 percent in early February.