Program

COVID-19 Federal Assistance e311

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FEMA Funding, Vaccine Distribution

May municipalities use CLFRF and/or CRF disbursements to cover the cost of vaccine incentives?

The U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) has included vaccination programs as an eligible use of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (“CSLFRF”). Treasury’s CSLFRF Final Rule states:

[a] recipient may use funds to respond to the public health emergency…for one or more of the following purposes…Responding to the public health impacts of the public health emergency…including vaccination programs and incentives.[1]

In addition, Treasury addresses this question in the Supplementary Information discussion which accompanies the Final Rule. Treasury states:

Treasury issued guidance (in its publication of the Final Rule) clarifying that “[vaccine] programs that provide incentives reasonably expected to increase the number of people who choose to get vaccinated, or that motivate people to get vaccinated sooner than they otherwise would have, are an allowable use of funds so long as such costs are reasonably proportional to the expected public health benefit.” This use of funds remains permissible under the final rule.[2]

Finally, Treasury published a series of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) relating to the CSLFRF authorities. FAQ #2.12 addresses this question as follows:

[Vaccine] programs that provide incentives reasonably expected to increase the number of people who choose to get vaccinated, or that motivate people to get vaccinated sooner than they otherwise would have, are an allowable use of funds so long as such costs are reasonably proportional to the expected public health benefit.[3]

While CSLFRF award recipients may use funds for the purpose of eligible vaccine incentive programs, recipients should consider all compliance and reporting requirements enumerated in the Uniform Guidance[4] and Treasury’s Compliance and Reporting Guidance[5] before implementing such programs.

Last Revised: February 16, 2022

[1] Treas. Reg. 31 CFR 35 at 417, available at: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/SLFRF-Final-Rule.pdf.

[2] Id., at 59.

[3] Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, Frequently Asked Questions (as of January 2022) – FAQ #2.12, at 8, available at: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/SLFRPFAQ.pdf.

[5] Department of Treasury, Compliance and Reporting Guidance: State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, (as of November 15, 2021), available at: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/SLFRF-Compliance-and-Reporting-Guidance.pdf.