The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded more than $194 million to Florida to expand the state's COVID-19 vaccine programs.
The funding is to help increase vaccine uptake and to give "greater equity and access to vaccine by those disproportionately affected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19," the CDC said in a statement Tuesday.
The CDC said 75% of the total funding must focus on specific programs and initiatives intended to increase vaccine access, acceptance, and uptake among racial and ethnic minority communities, and 60% must go to support local health departments, community-based organizations, and community health centers.
"We are doing everything we can to expand access to vaccinations," said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky. "Millions of Americans are getting vaccinated every day, but we need to ensure that we are reaching those in the communities hit hardest by this pandemic. This investment will support state and local health departments and community-based organizations as they work on the frontlines to increase vaccine access, acceptance, and uptake."
The award is part of $3 billion in funding that CDC has granted to 64 jurisdictions to bolster broad-based vaccine distribution, access, and administration efforts.
Florida on Monday began offering vaccines to anyone 18 and older, as well as 16 and 17 year olds with parental permission.
On Sunday, the state reported that more than 3,660,000 Floridians had been completely inoculated, and another 2,600,000 had received the first dose of the vaccine, according to the state's Department of Health dashboard.