WASHINGTON – Today, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited operations at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new Community Vaccination Center (CVC) facility at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, scheduled to open tomorrow and expected to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day. Secretary Mayorkas thanked and met with the Mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, and representatives from other partner organizations including the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and the Department of Defense.
“On the first day of his administration, President Biden challenged FEMA to stand up 100 Federally supported Community Vaccination Centers in 30 days,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “Well, FEMA did not stand up 100 Community Vaccination Centers in 30 days – they stood up 441. Today, that number is well over 500 and growing by the day. DHS will work night and day with our community partners, including our partners in Philadelphia, to defeat this pandemic.”
Secretary Mayorkas also emphasized the vaccine’s safety and DHS’ efforts to increase equal access to the vaccine in communities across the country.
“It is important for people to understand that these vaccines are safe. I have been vaccinated, and you should feel comfortable being vaccinated as soon as you are able to do so,” Secretary Mayorkas said. “As we work to increase access to the COVID vaccine in communities across the country, we are prioritizing equity, because your socio-economic status, your race, your ethnicity, your access to transportation, or your immigration status should not impact whether you are able to receive a vaccine.”
Secretary Mayorkas reaffirmed that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will not conduct immigration enforcement operations at or near COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites throughout the nation.