Thanks to nearly $200 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan, Florida is ramping up vaccine access across Florida and especially in underserved communities. Despite the fact that low income areas and communities of color have been disproportionately burdened by this pandemic, they have not been prioritized for vaccine access, as Governor DeSantis instead chose to focus on getting vaccines to the wealthy and well connected.
“Thanks to President Joe Biden and the Democrats in Congress we are finally able to ensure that the Floridians who have faced the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic are getting equitable access to life-saving vaccines,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz. “Governor Ron DeSantis ignored our more vulnerable communities in favor of his wealthy friends, but now because of the American Rescue Plan more Floridians have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, sooner.”
With millions in new funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida will expand its local efforts to vaccinate residents, particularly those disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, the agency announced Tuesday.
Throughout the crisis, communities of color — particularly Black Floridians — have been disproportionately burdened by COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations rates. And as vaccines become more widely available, Black residents statewide remain underrepresented among those receiving shots.
The $194 million Florida award aims to support equity in vaccine access as part of a broader $3 billion CDC fund, which has allocated money to more than 60 jurisdictions in an effort to boost distribution of and access to COVID-19 vaccines as well as support administrative tasks.
Funding for the effort comes from the American Rescue Plan and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.