Health

Primary care will play a crucial role in achieving vaccination efforts across the finish line.

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As a country, we have made important progress in the national vaccination effort. The United States has received more than 330 million strikes.

More than two-thirds of adult Americans have at least one stroke, and 58% are completely vaccinated. The steps we have taken are a testament to hard work and collaboration in the public, private and healthcare sectors.

Our progress should not, however, blind us to the fact that the work is not almost finished. Millions of people are not vaccinated and are still at risk, especially since the most transmissible Delta variant is spreading in the United States. It is however important for people to get protection from a COVID-19 vaccine.

However, we face a different dynamic than we have had in recent months. The vast majority of people most eager to get vaccinated already have a stroke. We still have a lot more to do to reach those who remain on the stake, which could reach up to 10% of the population.

To help instill in this group the confidence to be vaccinated, primary care providers and health systems are key. PCPs are the most reliable source of vaccine information, and their offices are the most preferred site for vaccinations. The survey data confirm this again and again. People want vaccination advice, and the same shot, from the person who cared for them trustingly, year after year.

The Biden administration has led a number of efforts to further activate primary care providers and health systems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created toolkits to help PCPs implement vaccination programs in their offices and to support them with raising awareness among their patients about the vaccine. The agency also provided technical assistance to states to help them enroll and send more doses to doctor’s offices and clinics.

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From the White House, we have worked closely with some of the country’s largest provider associations, such as the American Medical Association, the American Association of Family Physicians, the American Association of Pediatrics, and many others to encourage its members to redouble their vaccine education and administration efforts. And in May, we welcomed a National Providence Municipality with Drs. Rochelle Walensky, Anthony Fauci, Vivek Murthy and Marcella Nunez-Smith as well as providers and health systems across the country to share best practices.

We have seen significant progress, including an almost doubling in the number of medical practitioners receiving COVID-19 vaccines in recent months. The American Medical Group Association, which represents groups of physicians and health care systems that provide care for a combined third of the country’s population, has called on its members to work proactively to reach their unvaccinated patients to encourage them to vaccinassi. Within a week of sending his request, 162 members of AMGA’s medical team, representing 103,000 doctors treating 64 million patients, had signed up to act.

Similarly, the Alliance of Community Health Plans, which represents the nation’s best performing nonprofit health plans, has sent a call to action to its member plans serving 24 million people in 36 states and in Washington, DC Its members have engaged in a similar set of efforts including reaching out to their unvaccinated customers through robocall, email and on-the-fly testing. AMGA and ACHP members have pledged to take a number of other strategies to improve vaccine trust and intake, such as partnering with community organizations, serving as public vaccine ambassadors on traditional and social media. , supporting the innovative delivery of vaccines to those who cannot travel, and doubling efforts to vaccinate health care professionals.

Hospitals also play a primary role, and largely adopt best practices, including offering vaccinations at discharge and in emergency departments, and distributing vaccines to hospital-affiliated PCPs. We have worked closely with the American Hospital Association to further disseminate these strategies.

We all have a role to play in this next phase. I strongly urge all primary care providers and health system leaders to think about what can be done to educate their patients about the vaccine and help administer the vaccine in an accessible and equitable manner. There are a myriad of examples outside of suppliers successfully implementing innovative and challenging initiatives.

The country has relied on you throughout the course of the pandemic, and owes a debt of gratitude for your service to your patients and communities. For what you have done, and what you will continue to do, you have my deep and lasting gratitude.


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