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Vaccine Cost Reimbursement

All vaccination activities performed between January 21, 2021 to September 30, 2021 are eligible for 100% reimbursement under the FEMA Public Assistance Program.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is the recipient of FEMA Public Assistance funding and is responsible for administering the program. To learn more about what other costs are eligible for FEMA Public Assistance, click here.

Table of Contents

Eligible Costs

  1. Community vaccination centers.
  1. PPE, other equipment, and supplies required for storing, handling, distributing/transporting, and administering COVID-19 vaccinations.
  1. Facility support costs, including leasing space for storage and/or administration of vaccines, utilities, maintenance, and security.
  1. Additional staff, if necessary, including medical and support staff not paid for by another funding source and consistent with FEMA PA labor policies. 
  2. Onsite infection control measures and emergency medical care for COVID-19 vaccination administration sites.
  1. Resources to support mobile COVID-19 vaccination in remote areas and/or transportation support for individuals with limited mobility or lack of access to transportation, when reasonable and necessary.
  2. Federally Qualified Health Centers– Vaccine-related costs incurred by a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Rural Health Clinics and Critical Access Hospitals that are not covered by HHS or another funding source. FQHCs fall under the authority of HHS. PA funding can be provided for eligible costs that are not covered under this authority or another source of funding. 
  3. Communications to disseminate public information regarding vaccinations including translation and interpretation services as necessary. This may also include work and costs associated with setting up and operating a call center or website, when reasonable and necessary, for the purpose of sharing vaccination information with the public and/or to support the implementation and management of COVID-19 vaccination plans.
  4. Information Technology (IT) equipment and systems, when reasonable and necessary, for patient registration and tracking, vaccine-related inventory management, and/or analytics and reporting needs.
  5. Training and technical assistance specific to the proper storage, handling, distribution,19 and administration of COVID-19 vaccinations in accordance with CDC guidance. 
  6. Vaccination administration consistent with equitable pandemic response and recovery.

For additional information on these eligible costs, see FP 104-21-0004 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Medical Care Eligible for Public Assistance(Interim) (Version 2).

Insurance

Both patient and insurance payments are considered another funding source, and as such, must be stated and deducted from your streamlined project application. FEMA has advised that if communities performing vaccination activities do not have an established billing method, then the community is not expected to establish one to collect insurance.

Insurance proceeds for vaccination efforts have been referred to as “administrative reimbursement fee”.  This is still considered insurance and must be deducted from your streamlined project application for project costs.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to determine if they are collecting insurance and if the applicants has an established billing and collection method that was in effect prior to this disaster. Please check any State collection systems that your entity may be utilizing to see if any billing features are enabled and check with your local board of health to see if they are billing insurance or have a vendor billing insurance on the community’s behalf.

MEMA continues to work with DPH to ensure that applicants are not seeking duplicative forms of funding.

Equity Reporting

FEMA is committed to ensuring that COVID-19 response and recovery efforts are conducted in an equitable manner that assists underserved populations, including communities of color, members of the LGPTQI+ community, persons with disabilities, individuals with limited English proficiency, and those living at the margins of our economy.  The following items are elements Recipients and Subrecipients may consider to promote equitable allocation of resources:

  • Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) or similar value to determine highest-risk communities;
  • Considering communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic, in terms of infection rates, hospitalization, and mortality; and
  • Strengthening data collection efforts to substantiate that COVID-19 aid is reaching the highest-risk communities and underserved populations.

Vaccine Reporting Requirements

Each Recipient or Subrecipient requesting PA funding for vaccination efforts and associated activities must substantiate how equity was considered as part of its vaccine administration strategy.  Specifically, applicants need to provide FEMA with the following information:

  • The score on the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index or similar social deprivation, disadvantage, or vulnerability composite index; https://svi.cdc.gov/map.html
  • A description of how the location of the site(s)—relative to other candidate locations—best advances FEMA’s focus on supporting the highest-risk communities; and
  • A strategy to operationalize equitable access at each site, including but not limited to: o A plan for community outreach and engagement, both before and during implementation;
  • A registration process that advances equity with a focus on prioritizing minoritized, marginalized, and otherwise disadvantaged groups;
  • Equitable physical design of the site, including transportation and accessibility considerations; and
  • A plan for ongoing evaluation and continuous improvement to ensure equitable access

Applicants can use the Equitable Vaccine Administration Submission Template to summarize all required information and certify the equity efforts.  One template may be submitted for all vaccine sites, even if the Recipient or Subrecipient has or will submit multiple projects. The Template has three sections:

  • Section 1: Recipient/Subrecipient Information
  • Section 2: Equitable Vaccine Administration Strategy
  • Section 3: Site-Specific Information

Recipients or Subrecipients may use their own template provided it includes the same level of detail and information. They should upload the information in the Applicant Profile section of FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Grants Portal.

Timeframes to Submit Equity Report

When to submit the information to FEMA will vary based on the status of vaccination operations and FEMA funding. 

The below table summarizes the reporting deadlines for all FEMA vaccine applications:

  Project Obligated Applied, but Not Yet Obligated Not Yet Applied
Vaccination Work Complete One submission, within 30 days of Medical Care Policy One submission, within 30 days of obligation One submission, with initial request for FEMA vaccination funding
Vaccination Work Not Yet Complete First submission within 30 days of Medical Care Policy (due April 14), updates every 30 days until work is complete First submission within 30 days of obligation, updates every 30 days until work is complete First submission within 30 days of obligation, updates every 30 days until work is complete

 

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