The Federal Emergency Management Agency will have six vaccination sites staffed with military personnel running next week, including one site in Los Angeles that was launched Tuesday morning, acting administrator Bob Fenton said.
There is an additional FEMA site in Oakland staffed by civilian personnel.
The sites in Houston, Dallas and Arlington, Texas, as well as Queens and Brooklyn in New York, are scheduled to open next Wednesday, Gen. Glen VanHerck, the commander of US Northern Command, said speaking via teleconference.
The sites are a combination of 222-person “type 1” teams, capable of 6,000 vaccinations per day, and 139-person “type 2” teams, capable of 3,000 vaccinations per day.
In total, they will bring FEMA’s total vaccinations to 30,000 vaccinations per day across the sites. The deployments will include approximately 1,000 troops from the Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Army. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin initially authorized the call up of 1,110 troops to assist in vaccination efforts, then added another 3,700 troops.
FEMA has its own supply of vaccine doses to administer and will not be using vaccines from the states’ allocation, Fenton said. That supply stands at 11 million doses per week now, said Fenton, and it is expected to rise to 13.5 million doses next week.
“This is a dedicated supply above and beyond the state allocation, above and beyond what the pharmacies are receiving, and in a pilot phase right now,” Fenton said.
As of now, there are no outstanding requests from states or territories for additional vaccination sites, Fenton added.
The Pentagon has also allocated smaller teams of 25 troops to help in New Jersey and the US Virgin Islands. This is separate from the troops used for vaccination sites.
Initial discussions with FEMA called for 100 teams capable of delivering a total of 450,000 vaccinations per day, far higher than what the planned sites will be able to deliver.
Fenton explained the request for so many teams was based on more vaccine being available in the near future.
“How much will we have to get to those 100 teams? It depends on how much the pharmacies can do, how much states and local governments can handle and what is the gap,” Fenton said. “We want to make sure we have the capability to go up to almost 500,000 vaccines a day. That’s what the 100 teams buys us. How much we’ll use will depend on vaccine supply and the capability of state and local government, the pharmacies, and other avenues.”
In the past three weeks, FEMA has also provided $3.2 billion to 40 states and territories to improve their capability and resources, Fenton said.