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May 27, 2021

USDA staff to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines

The USDA announced plans to deploy qualified personnel across several states to assist in the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. In a notice to stakeholders, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Acting Administrator Mike Watson says APHIS has deployed 119 employees to assist in efforts to increase the number of vaccinations given. “We are fortunate to have many highly skilled veterinary medical officers and animal health technicians who have the proper training, experience and certifications to help accomplish this life-saving task, and we expect more deployments in the coming days,” Watson wrote Feb. 17.

The majority of APHIS’ deployed employees are assigned to Nevada and Oklahoma where they are helping to vaccinate people at a variety of rapid points of distribution including mobile teams and pop-up clinics. In addition, 8 employees have deployed to Texas to provide resource management support for a vaccination site; 6 employees have virtually deployed to assist Washington State in planning vaccination efforts; 4 employees have virtually deployed to assist Oregon; and 9 employees have virtually deployed to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Read more