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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded more than $8.4 million to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The funding will provide immunizations and vaccines for children across West Virginia and help prepare hospitals for emergency situations.

Specifically, the Hospital Preparedness Program will receive $1,404,726; Immunization and Vaccines for Children will receive $1,975,268; and Health Emergency Response will receive $5,054,405.  

“In order to prepare our hospitals and clinics for emergency response, they must have the necessary equipment and proper medical supplies so they are able to respond quickly and efficiently to any emergency situation that may arise," U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said in a release.

"We must also work to ensure that parents have better accessibility to vaccines for their children. I am proud to have secured this funding which will be invested into hospitals, supplies and vaccinations throughout our great state."

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., added, "Local and state governments are on the front lines in dealing with various threats to public health, including in West Virginia.

She said it is important that public health professionals have the resources they need to build capacity and adequately respond to threats and specific events as they occur.

"This funding also helps parents keep up with required school immunizations by making vaccines more accessible for their children. With more access to vaccines, more West Virginia kids will be protected from diseases, and parents can take comfort knowing that."

— Email: wholdren@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @WendyHoldren

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