Rural Michigan clinics to receive $5M in funding for vaccine rollout

Hani Barghouthi
The Detroit News

Lansing — The administration of President Joe Biden approved on Thursday a $100 million package to Rural Health Clinics to aid in COVID-19 vaccine distribution in rural communities. Just over $5.25 million will go to clinics in Michigan, the sixth-largest amount of money given to a single state. 

The push by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services comes as the delta variant ravages underserved and under-vaccinated communities. The variant has rapidly become the most dominant strain of the coronavirus in the U.S., now accounting for 83% of all new infections in the country. 

In this Monday, July 12, 2021, file photo, Karen Martin receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic hosted by James River Church West Campus in conjunction with Jordan Valley Community Health Center in Springfield, Mo.

“Rural health clinics play a crucial role in supporting our national vaccination effort to defeat COVID-19,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “This funding will give trusted messengers in rural communities the tools they need to counsel patients on how COVID-19 vaccines can help protect them and their loved ones.”  

The funding was made available by the American Rescue Plan and is being administered through the Rural Health Clinic Vaccine Confidence program. The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health was also awarded $750,000 to provide technical assistance to the RHCs participating in this program.

The funding allocated for Michigan will go to 106 rural clinics. Almost 63% of residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and about 55% are considered fully vaccinated. The state on Friday recorded 21 new deaths and almost 1,300 new cases in three days.