On December 23, 2020, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) sent two letters in an effort to elevate and prioritize access to vaccines for our members. Many family physicians, especially those in community practices, are expressing concern about the lack of access to the vaccine for themselves and their practice staff. These same practices are also facing challenges securing access to the vaccine for their patients. The AAFP is aware and is working to raise this issue and apply pressure to both Health and Human Services (HHS) and governors across the nation.
The first letter was sent to HHS Secretary Alex Azar drawing his attention to the fact that community-based family physicians are facing difficulties securing access to the vaccine for themselves and their practices. The AAFP draws the Secretary’s attention to why this is stressing our health care system and compromising access to care for patients with and without COVID-19.
The second letter was sent by the AAFP and a number of primary care organizations to the National Governors Association, calling on governors to prioritize community-based and independent primary care physicians and practices for vaccination. The letter also calls for greater collaboration with these physicians on vaccine education and distribution.
The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians wrote to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on December 28, 2020, to urge the prioritization of all primary care physicians and their practice staff for immunization against COVID-19.