Spanberger, McKinley Urge HHS to Focus on Community Pharmacies for COVID Vaccine Distribution

January 29, 2021 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – Reps. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., and David McKinley, R-W.Va., are urging the Department of Health and Human Services to place community pharmacists at the lead in the nation’s COVID-19 vaccines distribution strategy.

In a letter to HHS Acting Secretary Norris Cochran, Spanberger and McKinley pointed to states where community pharmacists have taken a larger leadership role and have seen a much faster distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable populations, including nursing home residents. 

Additionally, the representatives urged HHS to incorporate these strategies into the federal COVID-19 vaccination strategy, including in efforts to combat hesitancy about receiving the vaccine in underserved and historically marginalized communities.

“Community pharmacists have the flexibility to cut through red tape and reduce paperwork burdens for patients and their guardians in many cases,” the lawmakers said.

As an example, they pointed to West Virginia where community pharmacists established a vaccine drive that finished administering the first round of the vaccine to nursing home residents by the end of December.

“By comparison, at the end of December most other states had only just begun administering the first dose of the vaccine to nursing home residents,” Spanberger and McKinley said. 

Their letter continued, “The stakes could not be higher because nursing home residents are the most vulnerable to severe disease and death from coronavirus infection. More than 100,000 nursing home residents and staff have died from COVID-19 since April. As community spread has worsened and cases surged in the past few months, new deaths in long-term care facilities have trended upwards as well. 

“We urge you to adapt lessons learned from states that have put in place successful, community-led strategies to protect the most vulnerable,” they said.

The bipartisan proposal has already won the approval of the Virginia Assisted Living Association and the National Community Pharmacists Association. 

The full text of the letter can be read here.

Health

Fauci: Whatever Vaccine is Available, Take It
Health
Fauci: Whatever Vaccine is Available, Take It

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci says if a coronavirus vaccine is available, regardless of which one, take it. The top U.S. infectious disease expert told NBC on Thursday a third vaccine becoming available “is nothing but good news” and would help control of the pandemic. U.S.... Read More

Biden Tells Virtual Gathering Face Mask Distribution Coming
White House
Biden Tells Virtual Gathering Face Mask Distribution Coming
February 24, 2021
by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said during a virtual meeting with essential workers on Wednesday that the administration plans to distribute millions of cloth face masks beginning early next month. According to a statement from the White House, the reusable, American-made masks will be available beginning in March... Read More

FDA Says J&J 1-Dose Shot Prevents COVID; Final Decision Soon
Health
FDA Says J&J 1-Dose Shot Prevents COVID; Final Decision Soon

WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine protects against COVID-19, according to an analysis by U.S. regulators Wednesday that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic.  The Food and Drug Administration's scientists confirmed that overall the... Read More

$1400 Check Could be Coming Your Way Soon
Congress
$1400 Check Could be Coming Your Way Soon
February 22, 2021
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON — The House Budget Committee approved reconciliations to President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion novel coronavirus relief legislation Monday, setting in motion the bill’s final vote in the full House of Representatives expected to follow this week.  If enacted, the legislation would provide $1,400 economic... Read More

Big Factor in COVID Votes: Would Dems Sink First Biden Goal?
Congress
Big Factor in COVID Votes: Would Dems Sink First Biden Goal?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic leaders have a potent dynamic on their side as Congress preps for its first votes on the party's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill: Would any Democrat dare cast the vote that scuttles new President Joe Biden's leadoff initiative?Democrats' wafer-thin 10-vote House majority... Read More

US Coronavirus Death Toll Approaches Milestone of 500,000
Health
US Coronavirus Death Toll Approaches Milestone of 500,000

The U.S. stood Sunday at the brink of a once-unthinkable tally: 500,000 people lost to the coronavirus.A year into the pandemic, the running total of lives lost was about 498,000 — roughly the population of Kansas City, Missouri, and just shy of the size of Atlanta.... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top