Spc. Katherine Deskins of the Nevada Army National Guard administered a COVID-19 shot of Moderna to Dennis West, director of human resources for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on the first day of the Clark County’s pilot vaccination program at the Cashman Center on January 14, 2021 in Las Vegas. Nevada.
Ethan Miller | Getty Images
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is soliciting bids on two contracts worth $ 3 billion to hire thousands of medical staff to help workers at federal and state-level Covid vaccination centers across the country.
The agency expects to start submitting bids as early as next week and hopes to be able to place the contracts in early to mid-March. That emerges from a 13-page description of the contract that was released this week to gauge industry interest. A representative from FEMA confirmed to CNBC that the agency is “working proactively with the industry” to prepare to help state and federally administered vaccination sites manage the shots.
President Joe Biden last month announced his administration’s plan to use FEMA and other federal personnel to build and support Covid vaccination sites to speed up the pace of vaccination. However, the number of people trained and certified to actually manage the recordings was a limitation.
FEMA said the $ 3 billion will help pay an estimated 5,000 licensed medical workers deployed at various vaccination sites across the country. The contracts are expected to run for six months but could be extended to 18 months if necessary, FEMA said.
FEMA plans to split the contracts into two areas, covering the east and the west. Facilities that may receive staff under the contracts include local and municipal hospitals, state-administered sites, and federal-supported and federal-managed sites, according to FEMA.
Contractors, according to FEMA, will be responsible for the proper storage and handling of all vaccine doses at their locations. The staff will also prepare and administer the recordings and monitor patients for side effects after immunization. However, other administrative work such as scheduling appointments and admitting patients is done by the site staff, not the contractors, according to FEMA.
Given the planned schedule for the award, the task orders will likely be used to speed up the vaccinations this spring as the government opens up the vaccines to a larger segment of the population. The federal government is already starting an initial rollout of its partnership with a handful of retail pharmacies this week to increase the number of locations where the recordings will be made.
These pharmacy chains like CVS Health and Walgreens have been employing suitable vaccines for months in preparation for the rollout. The task orders expected by FEMA are also likely to help make websites public to increase their recording management capacity.