Rural clinics and hospitals will receive almost $1 billion in funds from the Health and Human Services Department to improve Covid-19 testing and get more people vaccinated, the Biden administration announced Tuesday.
The announcement comes in tandem with President Joe Biden’s announcement of a new Covid-19 vaccination target of 70% of Americans receiving at least one shot by July 4.
About 1,700 small rural hospitals will each receive up to $230,000 to increase Covid-19 testing, a total of $398 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Rural health clinics will also receive $460 million to increase testing, with 4,600 clinics each receiving up to $100,000.
“Rural health providers are vital to ensure equity in COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and in making sure rural residents have the information about vaccine safety, especially for populations who are at an increased risk for COVID-19 infection or severe illness due to systemic health and social inequities and geographic isolation,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
Rural clinics will also be able to directly receive vaccines from the federal government, separate from the doses given to states and local jurisdictions. They can also apply for $100 million in grants to increase confidence in Covid-19 vaccines, improve health care in their communities, and educate on prevention and treatment.