FEMA Advisory: FEMA Ensures Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines

March 9, 2021

At a Glance

FEMA has established the Civil Rights Advisory Group as part of the agency’s commitment to the COVID-19 vaccination mission amid the ongoing battle against the pandemic.

  • The advisory group’s mission is to evaluate the policies, practices, strategies and plans in place to ensure equity in vaccine access and administration.
  • The advisory group, which created the Civil Rights Checklist to provide states, territories and tribes a list of civil rights considerations and resources to ensure equitable vaccine access, is led by FEMA’s Office of Equal Rights, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and Administration for Community Living, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
  • “Statistics from the CDC bear out the need to bring vaccines to underserved areas,” said Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton. “African Americans are twice as likely than Caucasians to die of COVID-19, and Hispanics are 2.3 times more likely to die of the virus.”
  • These statistics highlight the importance of placing community vaccination centers in areas that are accessible to and prioritize underrepresented communities.
  • FEMA continues analyzing data and collaborating with states, territories, tribes, and local public health officials to determine the best locations for FEMA pilot community vaccination centers, ensuring that underserved and historically marginalized communities have access to vaccines and are not left behind.
  • “States are in the best position to understand their resources – both health care providers and community resources,” said Fenton. “We rely on this understanding and perspective to validate and determine the appropriate location for FEMA-supported vaccination centers.”

View the entire advisory under Key Resources.