By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has received $3 million in federal funding to put towards costs in the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, including setting up vaccination centers.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It’s to help the state set up three vaccination centers throughout the state for “rapid distribution and administration of available COVID-19 vaccines.”

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Joe Kelly, the director of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management division, says the funds helped the state launch the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, which alerts those about vaccine eligibility and vaccination opportunities.

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“Our main priority is to ensure vaccinations are accessible and are distributed equitably across Minnesota,” Kelly said.

FEMA is providing a 100% federal share of eligible reimbursable expenses for this project.

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“FEMA is committed to ensuring anyone who wants a vaccine can get one,” said Kevin M. Sligh, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5. “This expedited grant funding will help Minnesota fight this pandemic and expand availability of COVID-19 vaccines across the state.”