Supporting Access to COVID-19 Vaccinations
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
February 18. 2021
SUBJECT: Supporting Access to COVID-19 Vaccinations
Dear Tribal Leader:
As work is underway to distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines, I want to inform you that ONAP grant funds can be used to assist Tribal communities with vaccination efforts. I am hopeful that with all our combined resources and efforts, we will be able to make significant progress in the fight against the virus.
IHBG-CARES and FY 2020 IHBG Grants
Pursuant to the public health services waiver in PIH Notice 2020-33, Tribes and tribally designated housing entities (TDHEs) may use their Indian Housing Block Grant CARES Act (IHBG-CARES) funds and FY 2020 IHBG funds to carry out a wide range of public health services designed to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. With respect to vaccinations, this includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- paying the transportation costs to get IHBG-assisted families and staff to and from a vaccination site;
- coordinating with health clinics to provide on-site vaccinations either at a Tribal or TDHE owned or operated location or at a mutually agreed upon location;
- paying the costs of providing public health information to staff and residents so they can learn about the benefits of getting vaccinated and how to get vaccinated;
- supporting IHBG-assisted families and staff with online registration for vaccination appointments and keeping them informed as vaccination efforts continue; and
ICDBG-CARES and FY 2019/2020 ICDBG Grants
Indian Community Development Block Grant CARES Act (ICDBG-CARES) funds and FY2019 and FY2020 ICDBG funds may also be used to carry out various activities to further the vaccination effort, provided that the grant recipient receives HUD approval before undertaking the activity. This includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:
- expansion or modification of storage space for proper vaccine storage;
- covering labor costs for administering vaccinations for ICDBG-eligible families;
- establishing and, under certain circumstances, paying the operating costs of temporary vaccination facilities;
- personal protective equipment and other supplies for administering vaccinations, such as outdoor tents; and
- funding public health educational campaigns to inform Tribal communities about the benefits of getting vaccinated and how to get vaccinated.
Tribes and TDHEs that have questions about the eligibility of a proposed activity are encouraged to reach out to their Area ONAP Office for additional guidance. HUD strongly encourages all Tribes and TDHEs to coordinate with other Federal agencies, including the Indian Health Service (IHS), other Tribal Departments, and any other entities assisting with vaccination efforts to ensure IHBG and ICDBG funds are only used to pay for costs that are not being paid for by others, and to prevent the duplication of benefits.
Below are some additional resources regarding COVID-19 vaccinations:
- CDC: COVID Data Tracker: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations
- IHS: COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution List:
- IHS: FAQs regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine: https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus/vaccine/
- UIHI: COVID-19 Vaccines (Fact Sheets and Stories): https://www.uihi.org/projects/covid-vaccines/
Thank you for your partnership and collaboration in serving Indian Country. I continue to be inspired and motivated by the resiliency and strength of Tribal communities. Please know HUD is here to support your efforts.
Heidi J. Frechette
Deputy Assistant Secretary
for Native American Programs