WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The Biden administration is stepping up efforts to make the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible for more Americans, especially in rural areas. As part of the push, the White House says FEMA will put more resources into pop-up clinics and mobile clinics. The goal is for 70% of U.S. adults to have at least one shot by July 4th.
Vaccine recipient Ida Jeffries recently went to a pop-up clinic in a rural part of eastern Maryland, and she called it a blessing.READ MORE: What To Do To Stay Safe Around Water This Summer At The Pool Or Beach
“I don’t drive, so I had to wait for somebody to pick me up,” Jeffries said. “I was eligible quite early, but I couldn’t get, couldn’t get it until now.”
FEMA said the site ended up delivering nearly 800 shots over five days, before packing up and moving to the next location.
The mobile units are targeting underserved communities where access can be a challenge.
“We saw these areas where there’s not a large population that would be benefited from a mass vaccination site, but there is a population that needs a vaccination site much nearer to them than what’s available,” said FEMA’s Craig Levy. “These are people who have very negative outcomes if they get COVID, so every shot is literally saving a life.”
Levy has worked in disaster response for four decades and said this is the first time he’s directly saving or impacting lives to this extent.
“It’s a shot in the arm of the morale of those of us providing,” he said.READ MORE: Parental Rights Bill Sent To Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
EMT Cornell Canidate was part of the team of vaccinators who traveled from Phoenix to help administer shots.
“To hear them say, you know, I wanted to do it, but, you know, some of the locations was too far, and now that you guys are here, we’re able to get our family and friends, so that’s pretty exciting,” said Canidate.
Thomas Stokes and his pregnant wife, Tricia, said the site made it easy to finally get their shots.
Tricia Stokes said, “Hopefully my baby’s protected.”
For Eric Roy, scheduling was the barrier.
“When you work, it’s hard to get it done, because I drive trucks, and it’s just, I’m on the road all the time,” he said.MORE NEWS: Coral Gables Man Refuses To Sell Family House Swallowed By Massive Development
The unit will return to eastern Maryland later this month to help get people their second dose.