Tens of millions of dollars in funding to boost local COVID vaccine efforts are being pumped in to New England from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with Massachusetts, the most populous state, getting the most.
The Bay State is receiving $62,490,285 in the funding, the CDC said Tuesday in a news release.
Connecticut is receiving $37,341,776, Maine $32,534,381, Vermont $32,794,482, Rhode Island $31,796,870 and New Hampshire $30,687,981, according to a CDC funding document.
Three-quarters of the CDC's money must be spent on increasing "vaccine access, acceptance, and uptake among racial and ethnic minority communities," like door-to-door outreach or hiring bilingual staff, according to the news release. Additionally, 60% of the total has to be passed on to local health departments, health centers and community organizations.
The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion bill President Joe Biden signed into law last month. The law gave states, territories and some locales even more funding to track the virus and test for it in schools.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, who joined the agency from Massachusetts General Hospital, said the vaccine funding will help states' and cities' health departments, as well as community organizations, as they push to vaccinate more people.
"We are doing everything we can to expand access to vaccinations," she said in a statement. "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."