FEMA will be opening federal mass-vaccination sites in major cities across the United States.
The Biden administration had announced previously that they would be opening such mass vaccination sites, shifting from the vaccination strategy pursued the Trump administration which largely left the states with the right to determine distribution. The first vaccination sites were announced to open in California earlier this month.
In Pennsylvania, a mass vaccination site will be opening at Philadelphia's Pennsylvania Convention Center as early as Mar 3. The Convention Center was chosen due to its proximity to mass transit and its large interior space, and has already been used as a space to vaccinate healthcare workers and provide second dosages of the vaccine to the general population. The site will be jointly operated by FEMA, the CDC, and HHS.
Florida will also be opening mass vaccination sites in Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, and Orlando, according to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The sites are expected to vaccinate up to 500 people per day.
DeSantis's welcoming of such facilities contradicts remarks he made in January, however. "I saw some of this stuff Biden's putting out, that he's going to create these FEMA camps," DeSantis said last month. "I can tell you, that's not necessary in Florida."
While it is unclear what inspired DeSantis to change his mind, the government of Florida has faced pressure from the federal government to take a more restrictive approach to the coronavirus pandemic. DeSantis has accused the federal government of even considering domestic travel restrictions on the state.