Advertisement

Peace Corps to assist FEMA in COVID-19 vaccinations

By
Kyle Barnett
The Peace Corps announced it will be jumping into the COVID-19 vaccination efforts in assistance with FEMA.  FEMA is opening community vaccination centers in Boston, Essex, N.J.; Norfolk, Va. and Yakima, Wa. this week. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
The Peace Corps announced it will be jumping into the COVID-19 vaccination efforts in assistance with FEMA.  FEMA is opening community vaccination centers in Boston, Essex, N.J.; Norfolk, Va. and Yakima, Wa. this week. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

March 31 (UPI) -- The Peace Corps announced Wednesday it will be jumping into the COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

The deployment will only be the second time in the organization's 60-year history that members will work domestically.

Advertisement

Peace Corp members will be deployed to aid the Federal Emergency Management Agency's COVID-19 vaccination program. Members with specialized skills will be posted for short-term assignments of less than 12 months.

"Working closely with our federal partners, state and local leaders, community-based organizations and the private sector is critical in getting as many vaccines to the public as possible," acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton said. "Our partnership with the Peace Corps is an example of our commitment to reaching underserved and historically marginalized communities to ensure equal access to vaccines."Assignments would include assistance to urgent needs and to communities with a history of being underserved. FEMA is teaming up with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify marginalized demographics and provide the best advice to reach anyone who would want a vaccine.

RELATED Delta Airlines to unblock middle seats as of May 1

FEMA is providing personnel, supplies and funding to establish and expand more than 500 state-led community vaccination centers in different states.

Advertisement

Anticipating field deployment by mid-May, Peace Corps volunteer tasks cover language, administrative, logistical and other supports to to vaccine centers.

One year ago, the Peace Corps recalled about 7,000 volunteers from foreign assignments due to the pandemic.

RELATED Severe dementia, older age raise COVID-19 death risk in nursing homes

The organization said the special domestic missions do not alter its original commitments and volunteers will return to overseas assignments once health conditions permit.

The last domestic deployment of Peace Corps members was to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast in 2005.

FEMA is opening community vaccination centers in Boston, Essex, N.J.; Norfolk, Va.; and Yakima, Wash. this week.

RELATED Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down governor's mask mandate

The Peace Corps was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy in 1961.

Latest Headlines