WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), and U.S. Representatives Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), and Michael Guest (R-Miss.) today applauded a $32 million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to support COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts. 

“This additional funding for vaccine distribution is great news for the state of Mississippi,” Wicker said.  “I am grateful for FEMA’s continued support as our state works to recover from this pandemic and restore more aspects of normal life.”

“The widespread interest among Mississippians for the coronavirus vaccine is encouraging.  These FEMA resources will increase the ability of MEMA to assist the state’s inoculation effort, and for that we are all thankful,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.

“It is critical that Mississippians have the resources necessary to prevail in our fight against COVID-19, and this funding will prove to be a tremendous asset in our distribution efforts. Getting Mississippians vaccinated as quickly as we can is a key component of restoring our economy and way of life,” Palazzo said.

“The heavy burden of the pandemic has been a strain on our resources, economy, healthcare system, and personal lives, but the new vaccines offer a strong response in our fight against COVID-19.  With renewed funding for the distribution of these vaccines, we will continue our successful push to restore our nation to normalcy.  I am grateful for FEMA’s investment in our state for this important work,” Guest said.

The grant will assist MEMA in administering the vaccine at public facilities throughout the state.  It will support the procurement of personal protective equipment and additional equipment required for storing, handling, distributing and transporting, and administering COVID-19 vaccines.  Additionally, MEMA may use the funding for infection control measures at facilities administering vaccinations and for vaccine-related public information distribution.

MEMA applied for a total of $64.0 million for vaccination efforts through April 25, 2021.  This grant award, which does not require state matching funds, represents half of a total project cost with the remainder to be awarded later.  Finally, these funds are separate from U.S. Health and Human Services funding provided to the state for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

As of January 28, 2021, Mississippi had administered 172,509 first dose vaccines, 17,499 second dose vaccines, and had received 343,950 total vaccines doses.  On average, the state is performing 11,869 vaccines per day and is projected to administer over one million doses within the next three months.