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MEMA awarded $32 million to aid vaccine distribution

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A large chunk of federal funding will aid Mississippi’s vaccination distribution efforts. 

$32 million in grant funding has been awarded to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to support the rollout of the vaccine at public facilities across the state.

The funding, awarded by FEMA, was applauded by U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), and U.S. Representatives Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), and Michael Guest (R-Miss.). 

“This additional funding for vaccine distribution is great news for the state of Mississippi,” Wicker said.  “I am grateful for FEMA’s continued support as our state works to recover from this pandemic and restore more aspects of normal life.”

“The widespread interest among Mississippians for the coronavirus vaccine is encouraging.  These FEMA resources will increase the ability of MEMA to assist the state’s inoculation effort, and for that we are all thankful,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.

“It is critical that Mississippians have the resources necessary to prevail in our fight against COVID-19, and this funding will prove to be a tremendous asset in our distribution efforts. Getting Mississippians vaccinated as quickly as we can is a key component of restoring our economy and way of life,” Palazzo said.

“The heavy burden of the pandemic has been a strain on our resources, economy, healthcare system, and personal lives, but the new vaccines offer a strong response in our fight against COVID-19.  With renewed funding for the distribution of these vaccines, we will continue our successful push to restore our nation to normalcy.  I am grateful for FEMA’s investment in our state for this important work,” Guest said.

According to a news release, the funding will also support the procurement of personal protective equipment and additional equipment required for storing, handling, distributing and transporting, and administering COVID-19 vaccines.  Additionally, MEMA may use the funding for infection control measures at facilities administering vaccinations and for vaccine-related public information distribution.

The D.C. delegation also explained that MEMA applied for a total of $64.0 million for vaccination efforts through April 25, 2021.  This grant award, which does not require state matching funds, represents half of a total project cost with the remainder to be awarded later.

As of Friday afternoon, Mississippi has administered 226,209 doses—202,722 first doses and 23,437 second doses. 

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