(TNS) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Tuesday that just over $8.7 million in federal funding will pay for costs related to the coronavirus mass vaccination site at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University.
This funding is an advance payment for costs to establish the community vaccination site on the Cleveland State campus, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency statement on Tuesday.
“The COVID-19 vaccination site at the Wolstein Center is an important resource in Ohio’s fight against the pandemic,” said Kevin M. Sligh, an acting regional administrator for FEMA Region 5, in a statement. “FEMA remains committed to expanding the rate of vaccinations in an efficient, effective and equitable manner in Ohio and across the nation, with an explicit focus on communities with a high risk of COVID-19 exposure and infection.”
The FEMA announcement was made ahead of President Joe Biden’s expected visit to Columbus later Tuesday, his first visit to the state as president.
The Biden administration - along with Gov. Mike DeWine, CSU officials and Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish — announced the Cleveland mass vaccination site as Ohio’s first. It’s also the only site supported by FEMA, although 15 other mass vaccination sites organized by the state, local health departments and others have also been set up in other parts of Ohio.
After a soft opening, the Cleveland site began vaccinations March 17. It’s open seven days a week, 12 hours a day, for eight weeks. Eligible Ohioans can schedule vaccines at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
“The mass vaccination site in Cleveland has been a game-changer in terms of making the vaccine more accessible, and Ohio is grateful for FEMA’s continued support as we move down the road to recovery,” DeWine said in Tuesday’s FEMA statement. “Everyone deserves the opportunity to be vaccinated against this devastating virus, and this clinic is making a significant difference as we focus on ensuring that those in Ohio’s high risk and traditionally underserved communities have equal access to the vaccine.”
Sima Merick, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency’s executive director, said the Cleveland mass vaccination site’s location is key.
“Because of its location in Downtown Cleveland, and its availability to public transportation, we are able to serve individuals who are from all walks of life,” she said. “Whether individuals are underserved or have access-functional needs, with the availability of community partners at the Wolstein Center, we’re able to get shots in arms of those who so desperately need it.”
(c)2021 The Plain Dealer, Cleveland
Visit The Plain Dealer, Cleveland at www.cleveland.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.