Both the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security, which FEMA is within, are now in intensive discussions on how the military can help the agency, including the possibility of sending up to 10,000 troops to vaccination mega-hubs.
The effort could also involve using both active duty and National Guard forces. Part of the discussion includes agreeing on what the most urgent tasks they can handle are, the officials said.
CNN reported on Wednesday that service members could be deployed to up to 100 sites nationwide in support of administering the shots, according to a FEMA spokesperson.
As of Tuesday, FEMA had obligated more than $1.2 billion to states, territories and tribes for expenses related to Covid-19 vaccination at 100% federal cost share, the agency announced Wednesday in a news release.
That number is expected to grow in the days ahead, according to the release. FEMA will reimburse local governments for use of their National Guard to respond to Covid-19 and other assistance, in accordance with Biden’s memorandum last Thursday.
“It’s not just vaccines, also,” Klain said. “In some states, Erin, the problem is a lack of people to give shots. We’re working on surging that capacity. In some states there aren’t enough places. We’ve announced the creation of federal vaccination centers. So we need more vaccine, we need more vaccinations, we need more places to give the vaccinations. We are working on all three of those things.”
CNN’s Jason Hoffman contributed to this report.
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