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Missouri Congressional Delegation Members Press FEMA for COVID Vaccine Distribution Aid to Reach Rural and Underserved Areas

January 29, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, members of the Missouri congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, and U.S. Representatives Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason Smith, and Ann Wagner, sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency requesting additional COVID-19 vaccine distribution aid to reach underserved and rural communities.

“While Missouri has administered nearly half of the doses that have been distributed to the state – a statistic on par with the majority of other states – the logistical challenges of transporting and administering multiple doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to underserved parts of the state remains a challenge, as well as to other states within Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 7,” the members wrote. “As statewide leaders and public servants on the ground continue efforts to distribute vaccines, Missouri is in need of transportation and distribution assistance, and the supplemental funding provided to FEMA from Congress through the Fiscal Year 2021 funding bill should be used within the state and region for its intended purpose – to help get vaccines into the field.”

The latest round of COVID-19 emergency funding that was signed into law in December included $17 billion for FEMA to support state-led vaccine distribution and administration. A memorandum issued by the Biden administration on January 21 provides for a 100% federal cost share until September 30, 2021.

Read the full text of the letter here.

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