CLEVELAND, OH — Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center Mass Vaccination Clinic. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided $8.7 million to help support Cleveland’s mass vaccination site. During this visit, Brown met with representatives from the site and highlighted the stories of Ohioans who have been vaccinated, and the positive difference vaccines will make for Northeast Ohio families and communities.
“The most important thing we can do to defeat this pandemic, get ou economy moving again, and get people back to work, school and their lives, is to get everyone vaccinated as soon as possible. That’s what the American Rescue plan is doing – funding FEMA’s clinics like this one, to get shots in the arms of millions of Ohioans,” said Sen. Brown. “We can’t let up now. The more Ohioans who get vaccinated, the more businesses can reopen, the more kids can get back to schools, and the more families will be reunited.”
Brown helped write and pass the American Rescue Plan, which provided billions in federal funding to ramp up vaccine production and distribution to get all Americans vaccinated, and support all Ohioans through the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.
Specifically, the bill included $20 billion for a national, coordinated vaccination program, in partnership with states and localities. This enabled states to launch community vaccination centers around the country and deploy mobile vaccination units to hard-to-reach areas.
It also provided $50 billion for a massive expansion of testing, contact tracing, and genomic sequencing of COVID-19 variants. The uptick in cases in Ohio is largely a result of the variants of this virus – and Brown believes it’s critical that Ohioans get vaccinated as soon as possible if we do not want our vaccines to be rendered ineffective.
Brown was joined by Harlan Sands, President, Cleveland State University; Dr. Alice Kim, Medical Director for Inpatient Care Coordination and Long-Term Acute Care Hospital Program, Cleveland Clinic; and Cecil Lipscomb, Executive Director, the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland.
“We are proud to stand front and center as a trusted community partner in this mass vaccination effort,” said CSU President Harlan Sands. “Providing this service is central to who we are as an urban university. We know vaccines are the path back to normal.”
“The vaccine is the most important public health measure we have to slow the spread of the coronavirus and allow us all to get back to a normal life. All three FDA-authorized vaccines for COVID-19 have been determined to be safe and effective, and over 240 million people in the US have received the vaccines, and this has contributed to decreased cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the virus,” said Dr. Kim of the Cleveland Clinic. “But we still need to continue this effort and get more people vaccinated! Thank you to all those who have already received the vaccine and please continue to encourage everyone to get the vaccine by sharing your experience—getting vaccinated not only protects you but also all those around you!”
“I am extremely pleased with the coordinated efforts of our government officials, National Guard, Nonprofits, and Businesses in NE Ohio; keeping our citizens safe throughout the pandemic was obviously a top priority. It is imperative that we continue to do so as the weather gets warmer and people begin to interact more. Let’s not avoid the tough conversations with people who may be hesitant – we know what happens when the world didn’t have access to a vaccine. My family can now safely enjoy time together and travel without putting lives at risk because we are vaccinated. It was a head and heart decision for us – I encourage people to also think about their neighbors during this time,” said Cecil Lipscomb, Executive Director, the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland.