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Mobile Vaccination Unit in Pennsylvania. Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Health officials across the United States are deploying mobile vaccination units in an effort to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to rural and other hard-to-reach communities.

Why it matters: As vaccination distribution slows nationwide, health officials are looking for ways to reach rural communities, homeless people and poorer Americans who can't take time off of work, lack child care or can't travel to vaccination sites, the New York Times reported.

The state of play: Mobile vaccination units are being deployed across the country, including in Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, AP reported.

  • Mobile units have also been deployed in Washington, Minnesota, and Delaware, per the Times.
  • Maine recently extended its mobile vaccination tours until July 2.
  • In small towns across Nevada, mobile units have distributed vaccines in "churches, ballparks, strip clubs and even marijuana dispensaries," reports AP.
  • Trailers run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency have distributed vaccines in places without pharmacies, clinics, or vaccine sites, per AP.

Of note: Many large cities are also ramping up their mobile vaccination efforts.

  • Los Angeles will be winding down the use of its mass vaccination sites over the next few weeks while increasing its mobile vaccination units from 10 to 14. The city aims to be fully mobile by August 1st, according to the New York Times.

Go deeper

Sep 8, 2021 - Health

3 Vermont state troopers resign amid fake COVID vaccine cards probe

A magnifying glass hovering over a COVID-19 vaccine card to check the validity of the vaccine card. Photo: Raychel Brightman/Newsday RM via Getty Images.

Three Vermont state troopers have resigned following an investigation into an alleged fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination card scheme, the Vermont State Police said in a statement on Tuesday.

Driving the news: The former troopers are suspected of creating fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, per the statement.

Kentucky governor says state is in "dire" situation from coronavirus surge

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaking in Louisville in April 2021. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Kentucky is in a "dire" situation because of a surge in new coronavirus cases driven by the Delta variant, Gov. Andy Beshear said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

Why it matters: The number of new cases and hospitalizations in the state are increasing at the fastest growth rates since the start of the pandemic, and deaths are also beginning to surge since plateauing over the summer.

Sep 7, 2021 - Health

Report: COVID-19 has negatively impacted the fight against HIV, TB and Malaria

Healthcare worker takes the blood sample for an HIV/AIDS test. Photo by: Emmanuel Osodi/Majority World/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

COVID-19 has severely set back key programs in fighting HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, according to a report released by the Global Fund on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Before the pandemic, the world had been making strides against those three diseases, with deaths dropping by half since 2004, per the New York Times.