The funding comes from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, the federal stimulus and pandemic recovery legislation narrowly approved by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden last month.
Georgia recently surpassed 4 million administered vaccine doses, and CDC data show 33.4% of Georgia’s adult population has received at least one dose. But the state still ranks near the bottom nationally in the rate of vaccine administration.
To reach more Georgians, the federal government in March opened a community mass vaccination center at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta, a site selected to help reach hard-hit, high-risk communities. The center is among more than two dozen such sites established or announced nationwide.
The state also recently expanded vaccine eligibility to include all persons 16 and older.
Gov. Brian Kemp and other state leaders also have made minority outreach a top priority, engaging community groups and faith leaders in efforts to promote COVID-19 vaccines in minority communities. The state has yet to release detailed race and ethnicity data for vaccine recipients, however.
In announcing the new grant, the CDC said potential uses of the funds include training trusted community members for door-to-door canvassing to promote vaccines and help residents make appointments. The funds might also be used hire health workers to provide “culturally competent bilingual health outreach” to educate the public and help people obtain free COVID-19 vaccines.
During a media briefing on Monday, Walensky said the CDC remains concerned about rising cases nationally of the coronavirus. She said people should continue wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and get their vaccine when eligible.
The rise in cases is blamed in part on more infectious strains of the virus, including the variant first detected in the United Kingdom. Georgia has reported 592 cases of that variant.