On Sunday, December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which includes $4.5 billion for state, local, and tribal governments to “promote, distribute, administer, monitor, and track coronavirus vaccines to ensure broad-based distribution, access, and vaccine coverage.” Of this amount, $210 million is reserved for the Indian Health Services, with the remaining $4.29 billion to be distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based on the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement formula for fiscal year 2020. The CDC must release $1 billion of this money by January 17, 2021.
The new CDC funding can be used to cover vaccine-related costs incurred before the passage of this act. To the extent that state and local governments have covered vaccine-related costs with Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) monies, Guidehouse suggests that governments replace that CRF funding with the new CDC funding. Further, state and local governments should keep a close eye on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) eligibility guidance for vaccine-related costs. As discussed in the Guidehouse insight, COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment: Are State and Local Governments Prepared? it’s not yet clear which vaccine-related costs FEMA will cover. Guidehouse will continue to track FEMA guidance, as released, to help state and local governments maximize the federal funding available for COVID-19 response and recovery.