The Federal Emergency Management Agency only partially approved a request Wednesday to extend their support of COVID-19 vaccinations in community hubs in Arlington, Dallas, and Houston into next month.
FEMA's extension includes federal personnel who will continue to assist in operating the sites, but FEMA will not supply the COVID-19 vaccines or supplies needed to run the site, according to a statement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).
"Thank you to FEMA for extending the use of federal personnel at these mass vaccination sites through the middle of May," said Abbott. "Where the federal government falls short, Texas will step in by providing the supplies and vaccine doses needed to keep these successful sites operational. We will continue to work with our federal and local partners to ensure our communities have access to COVID-19 vaccines."
Originally launched in February, these federal pilot sites are based at E-Sports Stadium, Fair Park, and NRG Stadium, and are part of a joint effort to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts in underserved areas.
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President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he was shaving about two weeks off his May 1 deadline for states to make all adults eligible for coronavirus vaccines. With states gradually expanding eligibility beyond such priority groups as older people and essential, front-line workers, the president announced that every adult in the U.S. will be eligible by April 19 to be vaccinated.
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Biden also announced that 150 million doses have been put into people's arms since his inauguration on Jan. 20. That puts the president well on track to meet his new goal of 200 million shots administered by April 30 — his 100th day in office. Biden's original goal had been 100 million shots in arms by the end of his first 100 days.
The three community hub sites in Texas are operated by federal personnel in partnership with the state of Texas through the Texas Division of Emergency Management and local officials.
The TDEM requested an extension of these vaccination sites, including supplies, personnel, and vaccine, on March 22.