The White House made two major coronavirus announcements on Tuesday, one involving the total number of vaccines sent to states and territories every week and a second involving a new direct shipping program to underserved communities.
President Joe Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients first made both announcements during Tuesday’s COVID-19 briefing. (RELATED: White House Launches Pilot Program To Ship Coronavirus Vaccines Directly To ‘Select’ Pharmacies)
The White House additionally told reporters in a statement that vaccine shipments to states would increase an additional 5% starting next week, bringing the new weekly totals up to 11 million.
The new direct shipment program, dubbed the Federally Qualified Health Center Program for COVID-19 Vaccination, will also start on February 15 and will ship vaccines directly to community health centers in underserved communities.
“There are more than 1,300 Community Health Centers serving almost 30 million people across the country,” the White House explained in its statement. “Two-thirds of the population that these centers serve are living at or below the federal poverty line and 60% are racial and/or ethnic minorities.”
The White House added that they plan to expand the new program to roughly 250 centers in the near future.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters later in the day that the new program grew out of a suggestion made by House Democratic leadership during a meeting with the president last Friday.
You can watch the entire briefing with Zients below.