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Rep. Juanita O. Brent commends announcement of Cleveland as a FEMA site for administering the COVID-19 vaccine

March 5, 2021
Juanita O. Brent News

Today, Rep. Juanita O. Brent (D-Cleveland) released the following statement following the Biden and DeWine Administrations’ announcement that Cleveland would become a FEMA site for administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Today’s announcement is necessary for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Representative Brent. “Cleveland has been one of the worst affected areas within the state and our nation by the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that racism is a public health crisis, one which has been especially highlighted by the coronavirus. However, the announcement of this site does not go far enough in dealing with the inequities of this virus. We need to right size our rollout to the vaccine to address those that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic: poor Ohioans, Black Ohioans, and our communities of color. Rolling the vaccine out by age and medical history does not work to address the racial disparities that have been present throughout the pandemic. If the facts are telling us that particular zip codes and communities of color are being disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, then we need to focus our efforts there. While this is an important step forward for our state, we need to be sure we are addressing the real, racial disparities in our state.

“I look forward to seeing how the new FEMA site will work with trusted community partners to administer the vaccine and guarantee those in the hardest hit zip codes have access to the vaccine. Our community partners need to have the resources they need to access this site and communicate information about it. It is critical that people have the opportunity to receive a vaccine and we need to be sure to provide several options for scheduling appointments including online, call-in, texting, and in-person. And as nearly 25 percent of Clevelanders don’t have a car, the vaccine provider locations need to be accessible by public transportation.”

President Biden and Governor DeWine announced that the FEMA mass vaccination site in Cleveland will be able to administer 6,000 doses per day, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 8 weeks. The site will launch on March 17 at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center. The same eligibility requirements apply to this center as they do for other vaccination clinics across the state. More details, including how to sign up, are to be announced at a later date closer to the opening of the clinic.