Important Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau

Awardees Please Note

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children age 5 and older.

The COVID-19 Vaccination is safe during pregnancy. Our partner, MotherToBaby, offers educational resources on COVID-19 during pregnancy and breastfeeding Exit Disclaimer.

COVID-19 Response

MCHB is responding to to the impact of COVID-19 on MCH populations by taking the following actions:

Meeting Emerging Needs

Shift how we provide health services

Improve data collection, analysis, and observation to develop better interventions

Partner with federal agencies and national organizations to coordinate our response

Funding Telehealth Expansion

Through the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, we awarded new funding that builds infrastructure for telehealth and supports training health care workers to provide high-quality service through telehealth. Funding includes:

  • $6 million for Adolescents and Children with Special Health Care Needs
  • $4 million for Pregnancy Care
  • $4 million for Newborn Screening and Early Childhood Home Visiting
  • $1 million for Telehealth Access Training for families of children with special health care needs and national family organizations

Supporting vaccination, testing, contact tracing, and slowing the spread

  • Title V funds used to support activities including contact tracing, testing, direct patient care, and case management. Agencies may develop guidance and policies for childcare providers and schools to reopen safely. Connect to Title V State MCH Contacts.
  • Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program home visitors and the Healthy Start program educate pregnant women and families with young children on preventing the spread of COVID-19 and where to get tested and vaccinated.   
  • The Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) program trains health care workers to educate adolescent patients worried about receiving the vaccine. Some trainees are researching why young people are hesitant to get the vaccine.
  • The Telehealth Family Engagement Initiative helps families with children who have special health care needs get virtual care.
  • The Children with Medical Complexity Program provides virtual mentoring to health care and public health professionals in ensuring safe service delivery for the children.

General Grant Operations

Can a state or local public health department reassign personnel to address COVID-19?

Yes, under certain conditions. A Governor of a state, local or tribal organization, or someone they designate, may request to reassign state and local public health department, tribal, or agency personnel to address a public health emergency in the state or Indian tribe during the period of the emergency.

This only applies to personnel funded in whole or in part through programs authorized under the Public Health Service (PHS) Act.

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019 addresses this.

This may impact MCHB-funded programs authorized under the PHS Act, including:

  • Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Programs/Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program
  • Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program
  • Screening and Treatment for Maternal Depression and Other Related Disorders Programs
  • Healthy Start Programs
    • Healthy Start Initiative: Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health
    • Addressing and Preventing Lead Exposure Through Healthy Start
  • Newborn Screening Programs
    • Quality Improvement in Newborn Screening Program
    • NBS State Evaluation Program
    • Regional Genetics Networks
  • Emergency Medical Services for Children Program
    • EMSC State Partnership Grants
    • EMSC Targeted Issue Grant

Learn more about the temporary reassignment:

How should I approach travel for grant-funded activities?

You may need to postpone some grant activities, including those requiring travel. Talk with your Project Officer about other approaches to planned activities.

How should I address concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on fulfilling the terms of my award?

Contact your Project Officer. We’ll work with you on how to address the concern.

What should we do if the pandemic causes us to delay or modify our approved grant project?

We want to provide you as much flexibility as possible. However, some grant programs have requirements that don’t allow us to give you the same flexibilities. 

Some changes—like a change in scope or re-budgeting request—may require HRSA review and approval.

Reach out to the Grants Management Specialist listed on your recent Notice of Award for more information.

All recipients are required to keep appropriate records and cost documentation.

Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant

How can we adapt Title V funding to support our state-level COVID-19 programs?

The Title V MCH Block Grant allows states to redirect funds and staff.

You may provide:

  • Vaccine Distribution: Support for efforts to inform MCH families and providers about the availability and accessibility of COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Testing and Contact Tracing: Conduct testing, contact tracing, and case investigations to help stop the spread and support data collection.
  • Community engagement: Help community leaders, including faith-based leaders, to educate people about strategies for preventing illness.
  • Communication support: Accurate and reliable information to parent networks and health care providers.
  • Partnerships: Partnerships with other state agencies, medical providers, and health care organizations to help educate the MCH population about COVID-19.
  • Emergency preparedness: Aid to state and local emergency preparedness staff to represent the needs of the MCH population.
  • Epidemiology support: MCH Epidemiologists provide expertise to state outbreak investigations.

You do not need to seek prior approval if you follow:

  • Your state/jurisdiction’s fiscal policies and regulations for MCH block grant funds.
  • The MCH block grant statute (e.g., 30/30/10 funding restrictions)

Tell your Project Officer about your efforts.

How are Title V MCH Block Grant programs in states responding to COVID-19?

Reach out directly to individual MCH programs for state-specific information. Refer to the Title V State Contacts

Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN)

What resources are available for CYSHCN or individuals with disabilities?

We recommend the following resources:

Are there COVID-19 resources for youth and young adults?

We recommend these resources:

 

Date Last Reviewed:  November 2021