WASHINGTON D.C. March 12, 2021 – U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced that 116 facilities in California will be invited to join the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program launched by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The program is focused on working to directly allocate COVID-19 vaccines to HRSA-supported health centers to ensure underserved communities and those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 are equitably vaccinated.
“Our most historically underserved communities have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Senator Padilla said. “Many in these communities have not had the option of not going to work or working remotely, increasing their risk of exposure to coronavirus. The vaccines offer hope, but access has remained an issue. With dozens of California health centers joining the Health Resources and Service Administration program, these life saving vaccines will be more accessible to our most vulnerable communities.”
HRSA-funded health centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that deliver affordable, accessible, quality, and cost-effective primary health care. Nationwide, nearly 1,400 HRSA-funded health centers operate approximately 13,000 sites, providing primary and preventive care on a sliding fee scale to nearly 30 million patients each year. Over 91% of health center patients are individuals or families living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and nearly 63% are racial/ethnic minorities. Health centers across the nation are playing vital roles in supporting local community responses to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The 700 health centers nationwide that were invited to participate in the latest phase of the program include those that:
- serve high proportions of low income and minority patients,
- provide services to rural/frontier populations,
- operate Tribal/Urban Indian Health Programs,
- and/or utilize mobile vans to deliver services.
Prior to this week, 250 health centers nationwide were invited to this program, and include those that serve a large volume of the following disproportionately affected populations:
- individuals experiencing homelessness,
- public housing residents,
- migrant/seasonal agricultural workers,
- or patients with limited English proficiency.
To view a list of the health centers participating in or invited to join the program please visit: https://www.hrsa.gov/coronavirus/health-center-program.To locate a HRSA-funded health center, visit: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/.