Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden announced that Maine has been awarded a total of $89,516,771 to support the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and expand access to COVID-19 testing. This funding was awarded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, which provided more than $50.8 billion in federal funding for vaccine development, production, and procurement; vaccine distribution; and COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.
“In the midst of this unprecedented public health and economic crisis, it is critical for Mainers to be able to access COVID-19 vaccines and testing,” said Senators Collins and King and Representatives Pingree and Golden in a joint statement. “This important investment will help to keep communities healthy and safe by increasing the availability of testing and promoting the efficient distribution of vaccines throughout our state.”
The funding was allocated as follows:
- $12,146,102 will support a range of COVID-19 vaccination activities. This funding was awarded through the existing CDC Immunization and Vaccines for Children cooperative agreement.
- $77,370,669 will support testing, contract tracing, surveillance, containment, and mitigation to monitor and suppress the spread of COVID-19. This funding was awarded through the existing CDC Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) cooperative agreement.
Last month, the Delegation wrote to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, urging HHS to prioritize transparent and timely communication with state partners regarding COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
In July, Senator Collins and Jack Reed (D-RI) led a group of 27 Senators in requesting that the next coronavirus relief package include funding to develop and support vaccine distribution. At a September Health Committee hearing on vaccines, Senator Collins also questioned top public health officials on the equipment needed to store COVID-19 vaccines and the federal government’s role in ensuring access to necessary resources and equipment for vaccine distribution, particularly in rural areas.
Senator King joined his Senate colleagues last month to urge Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Robert Redfield to ensure a fair and equitable vaccine distribution to minority and high-risk communities across the country. While in development, he also pushed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for full transparency in the vaccine review process.