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The Federal Emergency Management Agency is deploying or supporting vaccination efforts in at least 11 states after President Joe Biden ordered the government to get on a war footing in his mission to vaccinate 300 million Americans by summer's end.
The states are Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, according to a FEMA official. Federal workers are also supporting efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the official said.
Four of those states, Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Washington, were home to nine federally supported vaccination sites running since Wednesday, the agency said in a statement. FEMA personnel were already working in multiple other states, the agency said.
"Additional staff across the country are supporting virtually, while the U.S. National Guard Bureau is providing staffing, administrative and logistics support to vaccines sites in 22 states," it said.
The agency, which has budgeted $1.2 billion for its Covid-19 mission, said it will reimburse states that deploy their National Guard troops to assist at vaccination sites.
Federal assistance will also go to states' pop-up and mobile vaccination clinics, FEMA said.
On Friday Johnson & Johnson said its own Covid-19 vaccine, which would be a third vaccine to the U.S. arsenal against the virus, could be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization as early as next week.
Last week Biden ordered FEMA to begin setting up vaccination sites.
The president on Monday set a goal of 150 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in office. He has acknowledged that, in order to do this, he will need to command a massive federal effort on the ground.
"It is going to be a logistical challenge that exceeds anything we've ever tried in this country, but I think we can do that," he said.